All-in for All-Stars: Local 12U teams prepare for District 14 Majors Tournament

Teams from Windermere Little League and Dr. Phillips Little League will face stiff competition from Winter Garden and South Lake.

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  • | 6:51 p.m. June 30, 2016
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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. 


Dr. Phillips

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.

Manager Rico Banez
Manager Rico Banez

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


Windermere — American

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.

Manager J.B. Ryan
Manager J.B. Ryan

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


Windermere — National

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.

Manager Brian Paulsen
Manager Brian Paulsen

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.


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