Prior to the start of the Midwest Plains Regional Tournament at Twillman field in Harley park on Friday, tournament director Valerie Gamel will be crossing her fingers for good weather for the next-five days.
With eight teams from seven states making their way to Boonville, preparations for hosting a tournament of this magnitude will have already taken place weeks prior to the tournament such as painting, triming trees and just day to day maintenance of the field.
Gamel said teams will begin checking in on Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Boonville High School Commons. Then, later that evening at the Knights of Columbus, a banquet will be held starting at 5 p.m. for coaches, players and family members.
Fred Smith, former coach at Boonville High School and Central Methodist University in Fayette, will be the guest speaker during the banquet.
Also on tap Thursday after the completion of the banquet will be a skills competition for the players at Twillman field in Harley park starting at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the real competition will begin at 12 noon with Wellington, Kansas battling Hi Tower, Minnesota in the first game at 12 noon. Ottumwa, Iowa and SEMO South, Missouri will play the second game at 2:30 p.m., followed by Bismarck, North Dakota versus Bennett, Colorado at 5 p.m. and Lincoln, Nebraska versus Boonville at 8.
Opening ceremonies will also be held on Friday, starting at 7:30 p.m. Along with the introducing each player from all eight teams, Gamel said the Boonville High School Choir will sing the national anthem.
On Saturday, the Midwest Plains Regional Tournament will go a different direction with games for that day at the Atkins Field Complex at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Columbia.
The tournament will be played at the Black field, starting at 12 noon and continuing until the last game at 7:30 p.m.
Admission for the tournament, both at Boonville and Columbia, is $6 for adults, $3 for students and children six and under free.
Gamel said passes will also be sold for the entire tournament. She said an individual pass for the tournament is $15, whereas, a family pass is $30.
As for directions to the Atkins Field Complex, start out going west on Pearre Lane toward MO-87/I-70 BL; turn left onto MO-87/I-70 BL; merge onto I-70 via the ramp on the left toward Columbia; take exit 128A toward U-63N/Jefferson City/Moberly; turn left onto US-63; take the Oakland Gravel Road exit toward Brown School Rd; turn right onto N. Oakland Gravel Road; turn left to stay on N. Oakland Gravel Road; 5220 N. Oakland Gravel Road is on the night.