Utahns looking to become kickball kings

Utahns looking to become kickball kings

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Everyone has played kickball at some point in their life; many have played during recess or a family reunion. Now a bunch of adults are getting ready to head to Las Vegas for the National Kickball Tournament.

The Utah squad is one of 56 teams scheduled to compete in the national tournament.

"There are some teams that are really serious," kickball athlete Clarence Willardson says. "No one from other than the East Coast has won the championship before. It's either Washington, D.C., where it began, or Virginia or Florida. They're really competitive about it."

Willardson's brother Tyson would agree.

"They live, eat, sleep and breathe kickball, so it's a whole different experience down there than it even is here, and this gets really competitive," Tyson says.

Clarence started the kickball league at Liberty Park four years ago. Since then, he says the numbers of swelled.

Utah's team took 19th place last year at the national tournament, and you never know what can happen this year.

"A dropped ball, an extra run -- things happen," Clarence says. "That is why you play the game. You never know."

Even after the tournament is over, competitive kickball won't be over.

"We're trying to start a winter league where we're playing in the snow with your moon boots," Clarence says.

E-mail: cwall@ksl.com

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Cleon Wall


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