Juneau Post 25 teammates Bobby Cox, Donavin McCurley and Kasey Watts pose for a photo together after winning their third consecutive American Legion baseball state title on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

Juneau Post 25 teammates Bobby Cox, Donavin McCurley and Kasey Watts pose for a photo together after winning their third consecutive American Legion baseball state title on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

‘I love these guys:’ Legion trio leave impressive resume

Juneau Post 25 plays in Northwest Regional next week

Donavin McCurley, Kasey Watts and Bobby Cox are headed with the rest of the state champion Juneau Post 25 team next week to the American Legion Northwest Regional tournament in Lewiston, Idaho.

Barring a trip to the American Legion World Series, the tournament will mark the longtime teammates’ final games together. The trio, all age 19, will age out of the league next year, putting an end to a prolific Legion career.

After coming up the Gastineau Channel Little League ranks together — they played in their first All-Stars tournament in 2010 — McCurley, Watts and Cox joined the Legion program while in high school and stayed on even after graduation.

“I’ve been with them off and on for probably eight, nine years,” Juneau coach Joe Tompkins said. “I’m just going to miss them. They’re friends, they’re not only players.”

Their dedication to the Legion program paid off in the form of three consecutive state championships. Not bad considering the first season all three played together for Post 25 —2017 — Juneau had won two state championships total.

“As much as I hate to say it, I love Kasey and Dono so much,” Cox said. “They’re great, great team players. (We) might have our difficult times, we might have our differences between each other and arguments, but we love each other a lot and I love them as my brothers.”

The three seemed to elevate their game when the spotlight was the brightest, sometimes in tandem.

In Tuesday’s state semifinals game against South Post 4, Watts’ purposely got caught in a pickle between first and second base in order to allow McCurley to score the game-tying run.

Two innings later, McCurley scored again, but this time, it was the game-winning score off Cox’s walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth inning.

“We have mad respect (for each other),” McCurley said. “We just believe in each other and we know exactly what we can do. We’ve seen what we can do. I don’t know really what else to say besides I love these guys, I’ll never forget them.”

Watts said his and McCurley’s relationship was deepened through baseball, but will continue on after their playing days are over.

“It’s something that we’re going to look back on the rest of our lives,” Watts said. “When we see Dono, we’re going to know what we’ve been through and what we’ve accomplished so it’s just another step in the brotherhood moment that we have and it’s the end of a book, and we’re starting a new one.”

Watts and Cox both intend to play at the next level. Watts will be headed down to Arizona this month for tryouts with Mesa Community College, and Cox is still looking around for potential landing spots.

McCurley played last fall for Treasure Valley Community College, but this year decided to start a career in construction.

• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.

More in Sports

High school boys sprint after the starting gun fires during the Sayeik Invitational on Douglas on Aug. 26. Students from Southeast Alaska schools are scheduled to meet at the same site Saturday for the Region V cross-country champions. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Juneau hosts Region V cross-country championships

Top high school runners in Southeast will vie for state berths Saturday.

Food has so much more value if you get it yourself and few things taste better than fresh game meat. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Freezer full of fun

My wife added a little sugar, but not so much that the… Continue reading

A Ketchikan High School volleyball player, at left, unsuccessfully tries to hit the ball over the net, giving Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé the decisive winning point in a game Saturday during the Southeast Super Slamma Jamma Volleyball Tournament in Sitka. JDHS, after winning the opening game of the lower-ranking Coho Division in Saturday’s tournament, lost the division championship game to Homer High School in straight sets. (Screenshot from Mount Edgecumbe High School video of tournament)
JDHS, TMHS both claim victories of sorts at Sitka tournament

For previously winless Crimson Bears, advancing to a title game marks a step forward.

Juneau’s Anthony Garcia (22) carries the ball deep into West Anchorage High School territory to set up the Huskies’ first touchdown early in the third quarter during Saturday’s game in Anchorage. (Screenshot from Juneau Huskies football livestream video)
Depleted Huskies lose at West Anchorage 59-21

JV players make up one-third of Juneau’s squad during matchup against top team in conference.

Juneau’s two high school volleyball teams, Thunder Mountain High School and Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé, face off last Saturday at TMHS as they go through polar opposite seasons this year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Juneau’s volleyball teams going in opposite directions entering tournament play

TMHS is undefeated, JDHS winless as teams begin three-day Sitka competition.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé junior Ida Meyer, right, wins the Sitka Invitational by a fraction of a second in front of Sitka junior Clare Mullin on Saturday. (James Poulson / Sitka Sentinel)
JDHS girls, boys crush Sitka course

Largest field in Southeast history sees Crimson Bears on top

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
Athletes compete in a swim event Saturday afternoon at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center.
Records broken at weekend high school swim meet in Juneau

JDHS and TMHS coaches share optimism as season progresses.

Zack Bursell, left, stands with father John, right, after winning the Equinox Marathon in Fairbanks, Saturday, Sept. 16. (Photo courtesy Jamie Bursell)
Juneau’s Zack Bursell wins Equinox Marathon

Local runner finishes more than seven minutes ahead of runner-up at Fairbanks race

Tom Thompson and Klas Stolpe at the start of the 44-mile solo ultra during the 40th Annual Klondike Road Relay, Saturday, Sept. 9. Stolpe was running as team No One Fights Alone in support of his brother James who is fighting cancer. (Photo by Tom Thompson)
No one fights alone on the Klondike Road Relay

A victorious 44-mile solo quest among 1,800 participants at 40th annual Skagway-to-Whitehorse race

Colony High School running back Bryce Guzman (5) looks for room to run in a downpour during Friday night’s game against the Juneau Huskies at Adair-Kennedy Field. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Huskies lose 19-6 defensive struggle to Colony in title game rematch

Juneau takes early lead at home, but Colony rallies during occasionally heavy rain Friday night.

What do telemarketers do during the weekend? (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Do telemarketers hunt for something besides human prey?

It’s Sam calling… As I discussed the critical moment at which the… Continue reading

Runners ascend the old ski hill on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks at the start of the 2015 Equinox Marathon. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Running over the same old ground

Oh my, it’s that time again. The Equinox Marathon starts with a… Continue reading