KINGMAN – Thomas Doxtader hasn’t played on an all-star squad.
That doesn’t bother the 10-year-old though. He knows he’ll be ready to play when the Kingman North 8-10 All Stars take on Blythe, California at 7 p.m. tonight at Sara Park in Lake Havasu City.
“I think we’re going to do well,” Doxtader said. “What makes us a good team is not having attitude, working hard and playing like a team.”
That mentality was clearly evident Wednesday as manager Ron Bowman led the final practice before the team’s opening game. Bowman said the squad consists of half major and half minor players. Kingman North also brought down a few athletes that played on the 11U All Stars when they were 9 years old.
“Everybody has been showing up,” Bowman said. “They’ve been putting in their time. It’s going to be a fun tournament. As coaches, we just try to teach them what we know and hopefully everything works out.”
Some of the older all-stars are also taking on a leadership role. Cannon Cobanovich, 10, will play on his second all-star squad and knows he can help out after being “really nervous” last year.
“It’s really exciting for all the older kids because we’re helping the younger kids,” he said. “It’s really exciting to be teaching them.”
While the older all-stars have obviously been instrumental in Kingman North’s preparation for the tournament, Bowman mentioned one younger athlete who is already excelling.
“We have Devon Dubay, who is only 8 years old,” Bowman said. “That kid is doing an outstanding job for us, being as young as he is.”
With a talented squad, Kingman North has a good chance of finding success in the double-elimination bracket. There is also some added motivation for Kingman North seeing the Kingman 8-10 All Stars at some point in the tournament.
However, Bowman isn’t focused on that possibility.
“We’re only worried about Blythe,” he said. “You have to win that first one to get to the second one. So we’re not looking ahead at anything. We want to go down, play well against Blythe and let everything else fall into place.”
With a win over Blythe tonight, Kingman North would advance to a 7 p.m. contest Friday against the winner of Needles – Bullhead at Sara Park. Kingman, meanwhile, opens the tournament at 7 p.m. tonight against Mohave Valley at Dick Samp Field in Lake Havasu City.
“Good luck to all the Kingman teams – the bottom line is we’re all one town,” Bowman said. “We’re representing Kingman – North, South, 10s, 11s, 12s – let’s just represent our town and hopefully we do well.”