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

A male sockeye salmon makes its way upstream. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: Life history patterns

Most organisms have one of two basic, genetically programmed life histories. Some… Continue reading

The Nogahabara Dunes spill into a lake 35 miles west of the village of Huslia as seen from the back seat of a Super Cub piloted by Brad Scotton of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service based in Galena. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Sand dunes a unique Alaska landscape

NOGAHABARA DUNES — From a molded seat of sand dug into the… Continue reading

Fly fishing for salmon in the saltwater might reduce the opportunity to get quick limits, but there’s nothing like it. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Silvers on the fly

A school of a few dozen fish moved slowly through the teal… Continue reading

A common aerial wasp forages on cow parsnip flowers. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: Cow parsnip flowers

Cow parsnip is known in our field guides as Heracleum lanatum, although… Continue reading

Juneau’s Jacob Thibodeau (right) takes a selfie with WSOP legend Phil Hellmuth in the background. (Photo provided by Alaska Sports Report)
Juneau’s Jacob Thibodeau and Mario Fata consistently cashing in at World Series of Poker

Anchorage pro Adam Hendrix remains Alaska’s most prominent poker player, but don’t… Continue reading

A roadside daisy displays a fasciated center. (Photo by Deana Barajas)
On the Trails: An odd plant malady, a clever duck, and more

I recently learned about a mysterious, relatively rare affliction of plants called… Continue reading

Heidi Reifenstein reaches Father Brown’s Cross to complete the Goldbelt Tram-Mount Roberts Trail Run on Saturday, setting a new women’s record for the 3½-mile race with a time of 37 minutes and 40 seconds. (Photo by Jeff Gnass)
A mother of a mountain: Heidi Reifenstein sets new women’s record for Goldbelt Tram-Mount Roberts Trail Run

Longtime Juneau resident returns to peak form after taking break from racing while raising kids.

The Nogahabara Sand Dunes in the Koyukuk Wilderness Area west of Koyukuk River. (Keith Ramos / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Alaska Science Forum: Mystery of the glass tool kit in the sand

From space, the Nogahabara Dunes are a splotch of blond sand about… Continue reading

After a morning hike, a satisfying breakfast for under $20 hits the spot. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Food for thought

To my left is a man with a thick British accent who… Continue reading

A bumblebee pollinates the flower of shy maiden, which will turn upward soon afterward. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: Flowers, showy and otherwise

The spring and summer flower show at Cowee Meadows (way out on… Continue reading

Athletes compete in a swim event at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center on Sept. 16, 2023. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
My Turn: It’s OK to say an athlete failed at obtaining a goal

During the telecasts of the 2024 Olympic trials commentators stated that around… Continue reading

A brush turkey on a mound the size of a car (Flickr.com photo by Doug Beckers /CC-BY-SA-2.0)
On the Trails: Nest-building by male birds

Most birds build some sort of nest where the eggs are incubated.… Continue reading