By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
Baseball and summer just seem to go hand-in-hand.
A warm, summer day watching what is called America's favorite past time with family and friends is a tradition in towns' throughout the country.
Crescent City is no exception, as the Del Norte Grizzlies American Legion team opens the season with a treat for fans two doubleheader games in one weekend.
The action begins today, as the Grizzlies take on the Southern Humboldt 76ers beginning at 1 p.m. at the baseball field at Del Norte High School. On Sunday, Del Norte faces the Eureka Falcons starting at noon.
The squad is made up of members of the Warriors high school baseball team from freshman to graduating seniors, and those who graduated from high school in 2006.
Head coach Eric Eneas said American Legion is a terrific way for the players especially those that play for the high school, to keep their baseball skills sharp and to get the chance to face tough competition "at a different level of baseball."
American Legion follows Major League rules, such as playing nine innings, although only seven innings are played on doubleheader days.
For several weeks, the team has been practicing hard, getting ready for the season.
Eneas said he has been impressed with their dedication and heart, and said he is looking forward to seeing them take to the field.
"The kids have a love for the game of baseball," he said. "It helps a lot as a coach. They're ready to start playing... You can only go over game scenarios in practice so many times before they want to do it for real."
Former Warrior Garrett Standring is excited to be playing baseball in Del Norte County again.
Back from his freshman year at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, he said he's happy to be playing ball again, although he did play intramural softball in college.
"I like baseball," he said. "It's nice to have the chance to still play."
Standring is set to play in centerfield, which he said is perfect for him.
"I like that you're all by your lonesome and you have to step up and make a play," he said.
Kevin Walsworth, who played for Del Norte High this spring, is on the squad, as are several other Warriors.
Walsworth, who is playing for a semi-pro team, the Chico Colts this summer, as well as on the Grizzlies, said he's happy to have the chance to play so much baseball and improve his skills by being on the field.
Coach Eneas is also coaching a local Babe Ruth team, and said his assistant coaches, Kent Davis and Jim Walsworth have been a huge help. Even when he can't make it, the team continues to run smoothly, Eneas said.
The team would not be a success without community support, Eneas said. He gave great appreciation to the local fans for their help, and for the local businesses and citizens who have donated funds to help the squad, which is vital, he said.
The team is sponsored by American Legion Post 548 in Gasquet.
Eneas added he hopes to have a nice size crowd cheer the Grizzlies on this weekend. Admission is free to the games.
To donate to the Grizzlies, call Eneas at 465-6184, or his wife Michelle Eneas at 464-5215.