Repetition or redemption on tap for District 16 All-Star baseball tournament

For everyone involved, the Little League District 16 All-Star baseball tournaments represent a chance at repetition or redemption.

Four divisions — 9-10, 10-11, Major and Junior — will open July 4 and 5. All four winners in the double-elimination format will move on to the Section 2 Tournament and look to keep their all-star seasons going as long as possible.

"The district level will be very competitive in both baseball and softball," District 16 volunteer administrator Scott Moro said. "There are very good teams in all the categories. …Leading into the sections, there's lots of strong representation on both sides of the ball, as baseball and softball are concerned."

One district champion has already been crowned, as Burbank won the new 50/70 division over Crescenta Valley, as the tournament took place Sunday and Monday. Burbank begins the Section 2 Tournament against host Canyon Country Saturday at 9 a.m.

Crescenta Valley has the chance to repeat in the 9-10 and Major brackets, while Burbank will also look to win the Junior tournament for the second year in a row. When it comes to those looking for vindication, the CV 10-11 and Junior squads are looking to erase bitter memories created from championship losses in 2012.

Of course, Crescenta Valley and Burbank will have plenty of stiff competition on hand looking to end their seasons early. They'll have to battle through worthy local contenders in teams from Foothill, Vaquero and Jewel-City/Jewish War Veteran leagues.

"Every year, you're always going up against a better team," Moro said. "There's always going to be somebody out there that might be better than you."

Competition may prove to be most fierce in the 9-10, 10-11 and Junior tournaments, as there are four teams in each division.

Crescenta Valley will start its 9-10 title defense with a first-round game with Tujunga July 5 at 5 p.m. at Babe Herman Field. Burbank, which fell to CV in the final round in 2012, and Foothill take the field the same day at 5:30 p.m.

At Montrose Park, Crescenta Valley and Foothill-Jewel City/Jewish War Veteran open the 10-11 tournament July 5 at 5 p.m. Burbank-Tujunga and Vaquero will square off at 7:30 p.m.

"This is the showcase age group, the one that gets to move on and compete in the Little League World Series and be on TV, so everyone really wants to win at this level," Burbank-Tujunga Coach Thomas Magoon said.

Last year's 10-11 championship came down to Burbank and CV and Magoon wouldn't be surprised to see things shake out that way again.

"It seems like it's always us and Crescenta Valley," Magoon said. "But there are some pretty good kids all around from all of the teams."

While Foothill-Jewish City/Jewish War Veteran 10-11 Coach Eric Hovland's squad may not be seen as the favorites by the opposition, he believes it can put together a solid showing if it can cut down on its mistakes.

"I feel like we have a good team, I feel like every player on the team wants to play baseball and is good at baseball," Hovland said. "They are definitely going to have to overcome some great competition but I think they can do it."

In a rematch from last year's championship round, Burbank and Crescenta Valley will face off in the first round of the Junior tournament Saturday at the Tujunga Little League Fields at 4 p.m. after host Tujunga and Foothill-Jewel City/Jewish War Veteran open play at 1 p.m.

Crescenta Valley will also attempt to win the Major bracket in consecutive years. The three-team competition opens with Foothill-Jewel City/Jewish War Veteran-Vaqueros and CV Saturday at Pacific Park at 7 p.m. The winner faces Burbank Sunday at Montrose Park at 7 p.m. The victor of that game will advance to the championship round Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Babe Herman field.

The losers will square off Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Babe Herman. An if-necessary title game will take place Wednesday.

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