Smoky weather persists as State “B” Legion tournament kicks off

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 7:52 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Early into Friday morning, some visible smoke was still sticking around the ballpark complex in Groton. And even though it was predicted to clear enough for the start of the State “B” American Legion tournament, it still raised a question for the teams and organizers of the tournament.

“It was kind of freaky, it was kind of like COVID. When COVID came out and two days later everything just kind of went haywire, we were worried about that happening to this deal too. But, we called the commission and the commission said we’re good to go, so here we are.” said Groton Post 39 Head Coach Matt Locke.

Although not near as bad as Thursday, the air in Groton had been level at “Unhealthy” on the Air Quality Index. But organizers didn’t want to wait for a complete clear of the air, something that may not happen for days to come. And teams and fans were eager to get the tournament underway.

“Fortunately it looks like we’re on the edge of it here and looks like it’s not too bad today, compared to what it was yesterday. But it’s kind of one of those things were we’ll have to work our way through it. There’s always one little monkey wrench in every tournament, you just kind of go with the flow.” said Groton Baseball/Softball Foundation Vice President Jarod Fliehs.

Regardless, both Locke and Fliehs said they’re just happy to have had a full, more normal season of Legion baseball this year compared to to the COVID-19 concerns of last year. And they’re happy to show off Groton to the state, especially as many are looking to get out and about this summer.

“It’s good. It’s great for the community, the people are excited for it. Hopefully we’ll just put some good baseball together, and people can use the facilities here and then in town. It’s good for everybody, it really is.” said Locke.

The tournament goes through this weekend, with the championship taking place Tuesday afternoon in Groton.

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