For the first time in years, there will be only one Ninth District team at this year’s American Legion Freshman State Tournament, which runs July 10-14 in Jackson.
And that team is Union Post 297, which won both the regular season and postseason tournament titles.
Rick Anselm of the Ninth District noted that more districts are fielding teams at that level this year and meet the qualifications for having a second team in the state event.
This year, only one district has multiple teams going and that’s because host Jackson Post 158 also gets a berth.
This year, the Districts 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13 and 14 get automatic bids for their tournament champions. Last year, Districts 8 and 10 did not have enough teams for automatic bids.
Jefferson City Post 5 added a team in District 8 this season while District 10 (St. Louis County) has restarted play after taking 2018 off.
Last year, the Ninth District had two teams as well as host Washington Post 218. District 14 also qualified two teams last year.
The Ninth District actually lost teams this year. It was the first season since the Freshman level was started that there were no teams in St. Charles County. Only six of the eight district teams opted to play in the postseason tournament as two teams didn’t have enough remaining players due to vacations.