July 18, 2012 Edition

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The Walnut Ridge All-Stars 7-8-year-old Little League team won the state tournament recently in Bald Knob. Team members include (front, from left): Walker Hibbs, Cade Forrester, Ty Flippo, Blane Wade, Jayden Hollister; (middle) Kel Slusser, Haydn Minton, Mason Andrews, Noah Roark, Garrison Doyle, Mason Woodard; (back) coaches Kevin Slusser, Aaron Andrews, Jamey Sullens and Heath Wade.

WR team wins state title

The Walnut Ridge All-Stars 7-8-year-old Little League baseball team won the state tournament held recently in Bald Knob.

The double-elimination tournament consisted of teams from Little League programs across the state. Walnut Ridge defeated teams from Malvern, Jackson County and Arkadelphia to advance to the championship game, where they defeated Arkadelphia for a second time, 7-4, to claim one of the few state titles ever won by a team from Walnut Ridge.

The Little League tournament is divided into two classifications, a Large Tournament, for teams from large towns, and a Small Tournament for teams from smaller towns. Teams from the Small League can also qualify to compete in the Large League's tournament.

Walnut Ridge, which normally competes in the Small Tournament, qualified for the Large Tournament this year and became the first 12-and-under Small team to win the Large tournament.

"In the past, when we've qualified for the Large Tournament, we haven't lasted very long. We've never been able to compete with the larger towns," said Brad Flippo, president of the Walnut Ridge Little League. "This year we just walked through it."

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