This weekend is a big one for Hannibal athletics.
Two tournaments are being hosted in Americaâs hometown, one of them is the Hannibal varsity baseball tournament.
Eight area teams will be competing in the tournament. It spans two days and starts at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 4, with a matchup between Bowling Green and Hannibal.
Other area teams competing will be St. Dominic, Payson Seymour, Maplewood Richmond Heights, Quincy Notre Dame, Palmyra and Monroe City.
Hannibal Head Coach Clint Graham said this is something the team has been looking forward to.
âThis is our tournament that we host with a lot of local teams coming in,â Graham said. âWeâre looking forward to it and hopefully the rain stays away.â
The Pirates, after improving to 7-6, have lost its last two contests to go back under .500 with a 7-8 record.
Going into his final days as a Hannibal coach, Graham has accepted a position as the assistant principal at Bowling Green Middle School, Graham said he wants to see his boys tighten play up in the tournament.
âAbsolutely, I want to win as many games and get back on a winning streak,â the coach said. âWe had a couple of tough losses here the last two games. I want to get back on a winning streak because districts is coming up and I want to get confidence back in the boys.â
Districts are indeed coming up, as Class 4 District 9 competition starts on Wednesday, May 9.
None of Hannibalâs distrcit opponents will be competing in the Hannibal tournament.
Before that, the baseball team has its sights set on the tournament this weekend.
Graham said he foresees some solid play on the weekend.
âI think there is going to be good baseball,â the coach said. âThe games will be competitive. There are lots of local teams and lots of little rivalries develop. Iâm just looking forward to a good tournament.â
In order for Hannibal to succeed, Graham said not just one or two players need to step up.
The whole team does.
âWe just need to get the team clicking,â the group said. âWe need everybody to contribute. We need to get back rolling going into districts.â
Play in the Hannibal tournament starts at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 4, at Veterans Field as Hannibal takes on Bowling Green.