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Disease cuts South End teams from tourneys

Based on recommendations of the Island County Health Department due to the outbreak of whooping cough on South Whidbey, the tournament committee of Little League baseball has ruled that all South Whidbey Little League teams will be removed from baseball tournaments currently being played in Oak Harbor and Burlington.

South Whidbey teams have already been removed from the loser’s brackets in the 10 to 11-year-old tournament in Oak Harbor. This move allowed the team from Sedro-Woolley to advance in the loser’s bracket. In the 11 to 12-year-old tournament in Burlington, the Anacortes team advances to the quarter-final game in the loser’s bracket because of South Whidbey’s removal.

The South Whidbey juniors team, after wins over Sedro-Woolley in the opening round and the South Skagit Nationals in the semifinals, is scheduled for a return game against the South Skagit Nationals for the tournament championship at 3 p.m. Monday, July 14 in Oak Harbor.

The juniors tournament was originally scheduled to end Friday, July 11, and there is apparently some negotiations ongoing concerning the South Whidbey junior team.

South Skagit Nationals defeated Anacortes 10-2 Wednesday evening to either advance to the title game or advance to state depending on the outcome of South Whidbey’s appeal to resume tournament play after medical consultation.

In the second round of the tournament on Monday, South Whidbey was a 10-0 winner over the Sough Skagit team.

Another problem has arisen that will also have to be dealt with by local Little League officials. The fence will be removed from Fort Nugent on Sunday so the championship juniors game, if it is to be played, may have to be moved to Mount Vernon.

Nothing official has been heard from Little League International as of Friday regarding whether the game will be played on July 14.

Rita Cline from Oak Harbor, one of the league’s senior umpires and North Whidbey Little League information officer, said all of the questions regarding the removal of teams from the all-star tournaments are being referred to Little League International headquarters in Williamsport, Penn.

“It was pretty much their decision and we are simply following their guidelines and directions,” she said.

Cline said she thought it was a shame that the South Whidbey teams had to be removed from tournament competition.

“You have to wonder why there was a big outbreak down there and not here,” she said. “I think what has happened is it’s the adults who are spreading it and they don’t realize that they need to get booster shots.”

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