Rebels struggle in elite tourney
The Midwest Rebels concluded their final summer session at the National Select Baseball Tournament Association National Invitational Tournament over the weekend.
Unfortunately, the results were not exactly what the coach had in mind.
"We got roughed up," coach Phil Hannon said. "There were some teams there that were just head and shoulders above the rest. And we ran into a couple of them."
The Rebels finished the summer session with a 1-7 record for the tournament and a 13-14 record overall.
But despite the unfortunate record, the effort was certainly there.
"The competition was tough out there," Hannon said. "But our guys did what they always did throughout the summer, and that's play with a lot of heart and effort."
The tournament ran from Wednesday through Sunday at three different locations, including Community America Ballpark, Rockhurst University and Baker University. The Rebels took the field at Baker for their action in the second of two pools set up in the tournament.
The tournament wrapped up its pool play on Saturday and then moved on to the finals on Sunday.
Unfortunately the Rebels finished early in the final day's action.
"We played really hard in a lot of those games," Hannon said. "But sometimes it just seemed that when we hit the ball it found someone's glove and when they hit the ball it found a hole."
The event featured teams from around the area and from across numerous states.
"I told some of the guys that a lot of these guys are going to play college ball," Hannon said. "And this is what you have to do if you want to play at that level."
Aside from the play on the field, there were a number of eyes in the stands. A number of college scouts made their way to each of the three sites to evaluate the talent on the field.
"They were moving from site to site," Hannon said. "When they do come, I sometimes get a chance to talk to them, but normally we just leave them alone and let them scout."
And with the scouts now having had their look and the summer season ending for the Rebels, the players and coaches will now move on and get back to the business of high school and college.
And although the team didn't perform as well as everyone had hoped, the experience was everything the coach had hoped.
"These are young men that are going on to do other things in their lives," Hannon said. "Some of these guys are getting ready for their senior years and others such as Paul Smith and Joe Kaup are going on to college.
"So for me as a coach, it was a real pleasure to coach these guys. They played hard every day that they came, and that's all you can really ask."
Midwest Rebels team members were Paul Smith, Miles Cleveland, Mark Abel, Joe Kaup, Rodney Spillman, Chad Griffin, Kyle Brouhard and Luke Abel, all of Eudora; Matt Kretzschmer, Aaron Hannon, Cory Wright, Ryan Jorgensen and Jeremy Wright, all of Baldwin City; and Sam Harwood and Daren Parker, both of Lawrence. Coaches were Phil Hannon, Dirk Kinney and John Griffin.