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Prospect Meadows ready for Metro Tournament

May 24, 2021 | Metro Sports Report

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The Bob Vrbicek Metro Tournament has always been a terrific way to begin the high school baseball season. Now it’s even better.

The entire 2021 tournament will be held at Prospect Meadows this year on Monday, May 24 and Tuesday, May 25, with all seven Metro teams and Mount Vernon competing. The tournament had been held at two different sites in previous years, but Metro athletic directors and coaches thought moving to Prospect Meadows was an excellent idea.

“As a player, I always looked forward to the Metro Tournament,” said Kyle Rodenkirk, the head coach at Linn-Mar who played at Cedar Rapids Jefferson. “This is going to be exciting. I’m looking forward to it.”

The tournament will begin Monday at 4:30 p.m., with all eight teams in action at the same time on all four fields in the Perfect Game quad. The semifinals in the winners bracket and losers bracket are scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, with all four placement games set for 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The first-round pairings are Prairie against Xavier, Kennedy against Mount Vernon, Linn-Mar against Washington and Marion against Jefferson.

The Vrbicek Metro Tournament was scheduled for Prospect Meadows last season, but it was canceled due to the pandemic and ensuing late start to the season.

Steve James, the general manager at Prospect Meadows, played in the Metro Tournament during his career at Cedar Rapids Washington. He pitched the idea of bringing the entire tournament to Prospect Meadows and it caught fire.

“I thought it would be cool,” said James. “It also will be a great showcase for our facility.”

The athletic directors were willing to give up lucrative dates on their own fields for a chance to play at Prospect Meadows before bigger crowds.

“Our first priority is doing what’s best for the student-athletes,” said Xavier activities director Adam McDonnell. “This should be a great showcase for the players and teams. I’m confident everyone will enjoy it.”

There will be no restrictions on attendance, now that COVID-19 rules have been relaxed. There are bleachers at Prospect Meadows, but fans are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

Rides will be available from the main gates to the fields.

Metro Sports Report