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Hays, Larks Park to host Legion state tourney

By The Hays Daily News

It's winter, but that didn't stop the Hays American Senior Legion baseball team from qualifying for the state tournament.

The Hays Eagles, the defending state champions, will compete as the host team after Hays was awarded the AAA state baseball tournament by the Kansas American Legion this week.

The AAA state tournament will last from July 31 through August 4 at Larks Park.

Last year, state was hosted in Manhattan at Kansas State University's Tointon Family Stadium, and Ralph Synder, with Kansas American Legion Baseball, said the legion likes to rotate the site to different parts of the state every year.

"We were in Manhattan (last year) which is considered the eastern part of the state, so we went west this year," Synder said.

Brian Dreiling, chairman of the board for the Hays Baseball Association, said he was thrilled when he heard the news. The HBA applied for the tournament in December.

Dreiling said the HBA applies for the zone and state tournaments every year.

"We hope we get them," Dreiling said. "It's nice to have it, so our kids aren't traveling."

Larks Park's turf was replaced during the fall, and combined with how well the Eagles performed last year, Dreiling said he thought Hays would be an attractive choice.

"We want to showcase (the turf) a little bit," Dreiling said.