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MCYSA Tournament Swings into Gear

Games, ceremonies and fireworks scheduled for first big day.

Crystal Lake will have a lot to offer this weekend for those looking for baseball, fireworks or just an opportunity to watch teams from throughout the world.

The McHenry County Youth Sports Association is now hosting its 19th Annual International Baseball Championships and events are scheduled through August 7.

"It's a lot of work but it comes together," MCYSA board member Jack Sabesta said.

The tournament features over 100 teams from across the world, including Sri Lanka, Canada, Brazil, Japan and the United States. Crystal Lake will have a lot of connections—a dozen teams are either from Crystal Lake or have Crystal Lake players on the roster.

With so many teams traveling to Crystal Lake, creating the schedule, travel plans and accommodations can be difficult, especially when a team has trouble just getting into the country.

"Right now we're waiting on Sri Lanka," Sabesta said Wednesday after the Japanese team arrived at the . "We don't know if they're coming. They've run into some problems."

The two teams from Sri Lanka were expected to get their visa issues resolved in time to arrive Saturday afternoon for the tournament.

The tournament will also include a game including the King & His Court, outings to Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular, and national anthems from each represented country.

Saturday's schedule includes the opening ceremonies for the 11 and Under teams at 2 p.m. at the Boncosky Complex at Lippold Park and the opening ceremonies for the 15 and Under teams at 6:45 p.m. at the Sund Complext at Lippold Park, which will include a fireworks display.

And, of course, the games. Over 25 games will be played Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lippold Park, Veteran Acres, local high schools and other locations. The intense schedule continues throughout the week until Aug. 7, when the tournament wraps up with the championship games and award ceremonies.

For a printable schedule and list of events, visit www.mcysasports.org/.

For exclusive coverage of the MCYSA Summer International Championships, check back here at Crystal Lake Patch.

For more photos of the tournament, visit rfpphoto.smugmug.com/MCYSA2011.

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