- June 30, 2016
The road to Williamsport begins on the ballfields at Winter Garden Little League this week, as the Florida District 14 Majors (12U) Tournament begins June 30.
The district features a team each from Dr. Phillips Little League, Winter Garden Little League, South Lake Little League and two teams from Windermere Little League, which is dual-chartered because of its size.
The managers of District 14 know advancing out of this particular tournament to sectionals can be a tall task.
“District 14 is probably the most competitive district within the state,” said Rico Banez, manager of the Dr. Phillips team.
Manager: Rico Banez
Coaches: Joe Nordmann, Dennis Pope, Al Osuna, and James Parr
Schedule: 6:30 p.m. June 30 vs. South Lake; 10:30 a.m. July 2 vs. Windermere — National; 10:30 a.m. July 3 vs. Winter Garden; 6 p.m. July 5 vs. Windermere — American
Players (pictured above): Front row, from left: Tyler Blanchard, Jack Waddell, Kam Payman, Caleb Considine and Sai Srinivasan. Back row, from left: Sam Gordon, Connor Schwartz, Nick Furry, Tyler Thompson, Francisco Centeno, Peter Sotolongo. Not pictured: Nico Banez and Josh Gannaway.
Coach talk: “We’re going to play a lot of small ball. We do have some kids that can hit it out of the park but we’re going to rely on our pitching and defense — it’s going to be more of a scrappy, small-ball team that I think is going to represent Dr. Phillips well.”
— Rico Banez
Manager: J.B. Ryan
Coaches: Rick Reeth, Carlos Alemany and Nick Leyva
Schedule: 6 p.m. July 1 vs. Windermere — National; 10 a.m. July 2 vs. Winter Garden; 10 a.m. July 3 vs. South Lake; 6 p.m. July 5 vs. Dr. Phillips
Players (pictured above): Front row, from left: Brendan Ryan, Brandon Mealey, Patrick Golden, Carlos Alemany, Gavin Heyn and Aiden Lenzen. Back row, from left: Frank Butkus, Ricky Reeth, Brady Henderson, Hunter Moss, Jaylen Carr, Joseph Leyva and Jason Kowalski. Not pictured: Otto Blasini.
Coach talk: “We have a lot of speed and good depth in pitching. Defensively, we are very strong. We’re going to need to have confidence in our bats and to support each other on defense.”
— J.B. Ryan
Manager: Brian Paulsen
Coaches: Tom Engle, Troy Delano and Rob Mitchem
Schedule: 6 p.m. June 30 vs. Winter Garden; 6 p.m. July 1 vs. WLL — American; 10:30 a.m. July 2 vs. Dr. Phillips; 6:30 p.m. July 5 vs. South Lake
Players (pictured above): Front row, from left: Jake Salvati, Josh Briggs, Wyatt Archer, James “JJ” Paulsen, Jacob Delano and Ethan Schalte. Back row, from left: James Rivera, Will Ross, Jake Crews, Dewon Brazelton, Tracy Mitchem and Tabor Engle.
Coach talk: “I think the competition level is going to be very high. We focused on developing the 13 players ... into a team over the last 30 days, and I think we have a pretty balanced team with some good bats and some good pitching.”
— Brian Paulsen
For a preview of the Winter Garden Little League Majors (12U) All-Stars team, go HERE.