- June 16, 2018
WINTER GARDEN The road to Williamsport begins on ballfields at Winter Garden Little League this week, as the Florida District 14 Majors (12U) Tournament begins play June 30.
The district features a team each from Winter Garden Little League, Dr. Phillips Little League, South Lake Little League and two teams from Windermere Little League, which is dual-chartered because of its size.
Ocoee Little League, which competes in District 14, is not fielding a 12-and-under team this summer.
Even without their rivals from Ocoee, manager Mike Maroth and his team know advancing out of District 14 and into sectionals will be a tough task.
“You can pretty much guarantee that there is going to be several strong teams,” Maroth said. “There’s just a lot of talent that comes out of Central Florida — at all levels. And it starts young.”
The tournament will take place at Winter Garden Little League, giving the boys in blue and orange a bit of a home-field advantage. WGLL will open the tournament a 6 p.m. Thursday against Windermere’s National team. Following the opener, WGLL will take on South Lake at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Windermere American at 10 a.m. Saturday and Dr. Phillips at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
No games are scheduled for the Fourth of July holiday, and WGLL will be off Tuesday, the final day of pool play.
The district championship is scheduled for July 6 and, if WGLL hopes to be there, Maroth said his boys will have to put together a complete effort each time out.
“We’re going to have to rely on everything, to be honest,” Maroth said. “It’s going to take a lot of our guys stepping up and it’s going to take a team effort.”
The majority of this year’s 12-year-old All-Stars team played for WGLL’s 11-year-old team in 2015, with three new additions to All-Stars. Although most of these players competed against one another during the regular season, Maroth and his coaching staff of Cherokee Pineda and Adam Bates are proud of the way the team has come together through a few weeks of practice.
“We’ve got 12 guys on our team, and it’s important that all 12 feel like a part of the team,” Maroth said. “That’s really what I stress is team — it’s going to take all 12 of them (to advance).”
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected]