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The Californian

The Official Student-Run Newspaper of California High School

The Californian

The Official Student-Run Newspaper of California High School

The Californian

Local little league team shines

Bollinger Canyon Little League squad reaches Western Regionals during historic season
The+2023+Bollinger+Canyon+Little+League+12U+team+poses+for+a+picture+in+the+stadium.
Phil Wong
The 2023 Bollinger Canyon Little League 12U team poses for a picture in the stadium.

The Bollinger Canyon Little League (BCLL) 12U team from San Ramon was one win away from one of the biggest sporting events for kids in the world.
This great group of young athletes was one win away from qualifying for the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., August before seeing their historic season come to an unfortunate end.
BCLL formed in 2022 when San Ramon and Canyon Creek little leagues merged. Former Canyon Creek player and Cal junior Ryan Giffins said he has mixed feelings about the merge.
“I have a couple opinions about it, but I’m not against any direction,” Griffins said. “If it helps the kids continue playing baseball, I’m all for it.”
The team has won the state title the last three years as 10U, 11U and 12U teams, and this season was one of their most exciting opportunities after winning state and moving on to face other top squads from around the country.
After Bollinger Canyon won its state championship game this season, the team moved on to the Western Regionals in the Southern California city of San Bernardino.
“It shows how competative it is at a young age in the area,” Griffins said.
The four teams in this tournament are Northern California, Southern California, Hawaii, and Arizona, which all compete for the US Western Region title. The winner goes to Williamsport where the top little league teams from around the world play for the coveted championship.
This year, BCLL proudly represented Northern California.
Phil Wong, the team’s manager said the team’s game plan coming into this tournament was not to go into the consolation bracket right away and to keep winning and stay alive in the two-game elimination tournament.
He told the team, “You’re going to only face better teams when moving up.”
But the team lost 4-3 in the first game to their rivals, Southern California.
They dominated the next game against Arizona in a win-or-go-home situation, winning 5-1 with a fantastic pitching performance from Mikey Wong.
Before going into this tournament, Mikey Wong said he prepared himself by trusting his pitching, hitting and catching abilities all season long.
After they beat Arizona, they played a strong Hawaii team and won 3-0, advancing them to the Western Regional championship game.
Although they lost the championship game, their success didn’t go unnoticed.
“[The team’s success] was great for the community and for the youth playing baseball,” Griffin said.
Sammy Alikian, one of top players for the Bollinger Canyon team, said the tournament was electric.
By beating Arizona and Hawaii, Bollinger Canyon set up a rematch with Southern California with a trip to the Little League World Series on the line.
The game didn’t start well as the local boys fell behind 3-0 in the first inning. But in the fourth inning, superstar shortstop Brandon Manivong, hit a home run to bring the Bollinger Canyon team to life.
Unfortunately, Bollinger Canyon lost the championship game 3-1, but BCLL made a real name for itself.

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About the Contributor
Landon Olberg, Staff Writer
Landon Olberg is a sophomore at Cal High and this is his first year being a staff writer for The Californian. Landon is really excited to meet new people in the class and start writing sports stories all year long. Landon enjoys playing baseball, riding his bike, and hanging out with friends. Landon also loves to travel with his family. He is really excited to be a part of The Californian and hopes to have a good year.

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