July 14, 2006 – Expect shouts of "Ole" to echo from the Lionel Roberts Stadium starting Sunday, as St. Thomas plays host to the 2006 Latin American and Caribbean 13-14 Junior League Championships running through July 23.
The Alvin McBean East and Elrod Hendricks West Little Leagues combined to host the event.
Tournament chairman Lubin Roberts said Friday that maybe there won't be much occasion for a lot of "Ole's."
"Both St. Thomas and St. Croix have a good chance of winning," Roberts said. "St. Croix won the interisland championship last month, but both teams are in a position to win."
Maybe, maybe not. Curacao has a team almost fresh from its 2004 Little League World Championship, and Venezuela won the regional tournament in Antigua last year.
Roberts said other teams competing are Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and St. Maarten.
Will language be a barrier? Roberts said no. He said, "We have people working with us, doing the translating, and most teams speak a little English."
He said, "All countries can bring an umpire, and we have a delegation of about 14 umpires locally from the older leagues that help us."
He said the teams are already arriving and will be housed at the Holiday Inn Windward Passage Hotel, the tournament's official headquarters.
Games will begin Sunday afternoon, following a scheduling meeting on Saturday. The day has been set aside for traveling and for organizers to coordinate the teams and set a schedule.
Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday. The plan is to split the teams into divisions. Each day four games will be played, set to begin at 10 a.m. Roberts said it is likely that the V.I. teams will plan evening games throughout the week.
The tournament is subsidized by the V.I. government, with major support form Holiday Inn Windward Passage, Innovative Telephone and Power Net, West Indies Corp., Coca-Cola and the Ackley Media Group.
Tickets are $2 for adults and $1 for children under 12.
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