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The N.C. State Games showcase the best amateur athletic talent in the state, and this year that will include three baseball players from West Brunswick High School.
Trojan catcher Josh Powell and infielders Wally and Pat Kamfolt will play for the Region 2 team.
“You can only have three (rising senior) players from one high school on that team,” West Brunswick High School coach Mike Alderson said.
North Brunswick catcher Dakota Irwin also is on the team.
“That’s never happened, two Brunswick County catchers on the same State Games team,” Alderson said. “That’s pretty exciting.”
The State Games are North Carolina’s largest multi-sport festival and one of the largest State Games programs in the United States. The baseball games will be played June 12-15 in Greensboro. Eight teams of rising juniors and seniors will play a four-game round-robin tournament. Just as important to the players is a workout on June 11 for scouts.
West Brunswick’s players look forward to competing against the best ballplayers in the state.
“I’m really happy to be able to play in the State Games,” Powell said. “I hope most of all we can go out there and have fun. Then I want to try to do good and get looked at, of course.”
“It’s a big honor,” Pat Kamfolt said. “I’m just happy to play. We all didn’t make it last year. I hope I do good so some colleges will look at me.”
Not making the roster last year for the State Games motivated him to try to get on the team this year.
“I always wanted to make it,” he said. “I finally made it this year. It will help me try to get into college, hopefully.”
“I’m excited,” Wally Kamfolt said. “Since we didn’t make it last year, we wanted to try to make it this year. It was kind of in the back of my head a little bit. It’s an honor to represent North Carolina. I’m glad I got picked.”
North Brunswick coach Randy Fennell said Irwin worked hard to improve his skills and has been rewarded by being selected to the team.
“Dakota has earned that because of his work ethic,” Fennell said. “When we open practice, he’s there 30 minutes early. When we finish practice, he asks, ‘Coach Fennell, can I take some more B.P.?’
“He’s that kind of kid. He has a natural work ethic, along with a natural ability. He has good arm strength. He works hard to develop his fundamentals behind the plate, and it has paid off for him. He had a good showing when they had the tryouts and evidently he caught their eye. This is going to be a good opportunity for him.”
The games will be played at UNC Greensboro and War Memorial Stadium. The Region 2 team will play its first game at 10 a.m. June 12. Its second game will be 7 p.m. June 13. The third game will be 7 p.m. June 14. All those games will be at UNC Greensboro. The team’s record after those three games will determine when and where it plays on June 15.
MICHAEL PAUL is the sports editor at the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or at email@example.com.