Kevin Juergens isn’t going to Branson to see the Dixie Stampede.
Nor is he going to see Yakov Smirnoff.
Nor Shoji Tabuchi or any of the other popular shows.
No, Juergens and his Post 218 Freshman Legion team are seeking the title for the Missouri State Tournament which opens Wednesday at Pirate Field in Branson.
Post 218 (35-1) will open the seven-team tournament Thursday at 7 p.m. against District 15 winner Carl Junction Post 781.
Juergens feels the tournament will be a challenge for Post 218.
“We’re only familiar with Jackson and Manchester,” Juergens said. “I think Spencer (Juergens) beat each of those teams. He beat Jackson 6-0 for the championship of our tournament and beat Manchester 5-1 at Ronsick. Hopefully we will have good pitching and if that happens we will have a chance.”
In other first-round games, District 13 winner Ste. Genevieve Post 150 received a forfeit win as Dixon, the only team in District 16, dropped out of the tournament this past week.
Host Branson will play District 14 winner Jackson Post 158 at 1 p.m.
District 10 winner Manchester Post 208 then plays District 17 winner Springfield Kickapoo at 4 p.m.
The tournament will continue through Saturday with the title game set for 3 p.m.
However, should an if-needed game be required, it would be played Sunday at 1 p.m.
Post 218 has been the state runner-up before, including the first season Missouri had the Freshman Legion level and again as recently as 2010, but has never won a state title.