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

Juneau's high school football team finished the regular season 8-0 (7-0 in conference) after hanging on to win a 19-14 nail-biter against Bettye Davis East Anchorage High School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Huskies finish regular season undefeated

Huskies hang on — but not without last-minute drama.

Wendy Vuille poses with skater Brendyn Hatfield at the Arizona Adult Skating Camp. (Courtesy Photo / Wendy Vuille)
Better skate than never: Over a decade of hard work nets Juneau woman rare honor

Over a decade of hard work nets Juneau woman rare honor

A total of 145 boys from 10 Southeast Alaska high schools dash out from the starting line at the Capital City Invite at A Káx Yaa Andagan Yé (Sandy Beach) on Saturday morning. The 5K race for boys’ and girls’ teams was the region’s largest cross-country race of the season, and final regular season competition before the regional championship in Sitka this weekend. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Many merry after massive muddy meet

Juneau’s cross-country runners and coaches in sunny spirits about chances going into championships

TMHS’ Ashlyn Gates and JDHS’ Mila Hargrave both reach for the ball during the second set of a cross-town volleyball match held at JDHS on Friday. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
TMHS wins two cross-town matches

TMHS wins two cross-town matches

A Lucas White (21) block buys Jarrell Williams (1) more room to work during a 49-32 win against Service High School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Juneau cooks up a conference title

Huskies are back-to-back Cook Inlet Conference champs after lopsided win.

Senior Moana Tuviafale of Thunder Mountain High School (far right) was named to the all-tournament team at this year’s Spiktacular tournament this weekend at West Anchorage High School. From left to right, other players in photo are Hayden Inman of Chugiak High School, Liyah Pilgrim of Colony High School and Marija Wunnicke of South High School. (Courtesy Photo / Julie Herman)
TMHS takes 3rd at Spiketacular tournament

The Falcons are ranked 3rd in the state

Jarrell Williams, who scored five TDs against South Anchorage to help Juneau maintain an undefeated record, looks over the line of scrimmage in an Aug. 27 game against West Anchorage High School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
5 TD’s power Juneau’s 6th win

Juneau football still undefeated on the season.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
From left to right, Liz Perry, president and CEO of Travel Juneau; SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium project manager Sierra Gadaire; High Cadence Triathlon team coach Jamie Bursell; and City and Borough of Juneau Finance Director Jeff Rogers met at Juneau Moose Family Center on Thursday afternoon to share a recap of the Ironman Alaska to a full crowd of members of the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce who joined in at the luncheon.
2023 vision: Officials look at the future of Ironman Alaska

They reviewed what went well and what could change for next time.

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire
Two-time national champion and Olympic bronze medalist Gracie Gold talks with the Juneau Empire ahead of her upcoming free speech at Juneau-Douglas High School on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m.
Olympian takes time to talk mental health

Bronze medalist, 2-time champ to speak Saturday.

Jarrell Williams (1) and Thomas Baxter (84) celebrate a big play on defense early in Juneau's win over the visiting West Valley Rams. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Huskies get the Rams’ goat under Friday night lights

Juneau remains undefeated on the season.

FILE - Lance Mackey sits with his lead dogs Larry, right, and Maple after crossing the finish line of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 18, 2009, in Nome, Alaska, to win his third Iditarod in a row. Mackey, a four-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race winner and one of mushing’s most colorful and accomplished champions who also suffered from health and drug issues, died Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, his father and kennel announced on Facebook. He was 52. (AP Photo/Al Grillo, File)
Cancer claims 4-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey

Officials with the world’s most famous sled dog race said Iditarod Nation was in mourning.