ELLIOTT: What a difference five years make

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You never know what’s going to happen in the span of five years.

Where a team might have been, or where some of those players have since moved on.

FOR THOSE that may have missed it — and if not for a Facebook post I might have as well — it was five years ago when a group of Post Falls Little League All-Stars came within a game of the Little League World Series in 2012.

The team advanced to the championship game of the Northwest Regional, complete with an afternoon game on ESPN, where they’d eventually fall to Gresham, Ore., in that game.

In a quick glimpse of the team’s roster, the pitching staff included Jake Pfennigs, Kodie Kolden, Quin Bennett and Jonny Hillman.

Behind the plate was Nate Buer, with infielders Tanner McCliment-Call and Shilo Morgan and an outfield of Jake Shelton and Brock Zeller. Sam Schulze and Matt Vasquez also pitched and played in the outfield.

Of those, Pfennigs (Arizona State) and Kolden (Washington State) have verbally committed to continue their playing careers at the Division I level following graduation in 2018.

Pfennigs has reopened his recruitment recently. Kolden won a state 5A baseball title as a member of the Lake City program in 2016.

Hillman and Shelton were key contributors as Genesis Prep won its first boys basketball title in program history in March, beating Dietrich 68-62 at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.

JUST A little over a year later, a group from Coeur d’Alene advanced to the Northwest Regional semifinals, falling to Eastlake, Wash., 5-4 in another game on ESPN.

Among the players on that team were Kyle Manzardo, Anton Watson, Zach Mackimmie, Brandon Gay and Zach Sensel.

Manzardo has verbally committed to play baseball at Washington State, while Watson verbaled to play basketball at Gonzaga.

Mackimmie, Sensel and Gay recently wrapped with the Coeur d’Alene Lumbermen Single-A team, winners of the state tournament before advancing to regionals in Eugene, Ore. The Lums finished the season 47-13.

And in case you’ve missed it, the Lewis-Clark Twins AA program is currently playing in the American Legion World Series, where they won an opening round game.

WHETHER IT is the kids or the competition, there’s a lot of talent on these baseball fields. Where it takes them, it’s really up to them.

Jason Elliott is a sports writer for the Coeur d’Alene Press. He can be reached by telephone at (208) 664-8176, Ext. 2020 or via email at jelliott@cdapress.com. Follow him on Twitter @JECdAPress.

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