North Springs Little League’s All Star Juniors team is on the brink of making history for the program as the team prepares to participate in the Southeast Regional Tournament in Greenville, S.C. this weekend.
According to NSLL President Mike Hendrix, this is only the second time in which a North Springs All Star team is one step away from making a World Series berth.
“It’s such an honor for our league to be able to represent the State of Florida in the S.E. Regional Tournament. To be the last one standing from the hundreds of teams [in Florida] that started tournament play just a few weeks ago is a great accomplishment for these players, coaches and our league,” Hendrix said. “These players had the goal of being Florida’s state champions all the way back in January. With hard work, dedication and great coaching, they’ve made that goal a reality.”
At the district level, the team visited local rival and tournament host Coconut Creek Little League at Sabal Pines Park, where North Springs only gave up two runs in their three district games. They opened up their All Star work with a 7-0 win over the host team, followed by claiming a 12-2 win versus Deerfield Beach. They beat Coconut Creek a second time in the championship game, 10-0, to get the District 10 title, banner and trophy.
North Springs followed their district performance in their sectional play the following weekend in Doral. For the second time, North Springs only let up two runs before claiming the Section 8 Championship. Next, the team headed into the state tournament in Titusville.
North Springs’ first state game found them in a hole after they lost to Saint Cloud Little League, 2-1. Manager Todd Fitz-Gerald had his team re-group before they faced and beat Land O’ Lakes Little League, 6-4. North Springs then blanked the All Stars from South Ft. Myers by scoring 10 runs. In the state championship game, the team was victorious over Arlington Little League, 3-1.
“What they did this past weekend was really something special, and to see their chemistry and the way they played was great,” Fitz-Gerald said. “These players are very resilient, don’t put their head down when they’ve been faced with adversity and just play so good together.”
North Springs heads into their regional play Friday, July 31, with their first game versus Georgia. Although the stakes are much higher, Fitz-Gerald said his team remains composed.
“They have their own set of expectations,” Fitz-Gerald added. “Their goal is to get to that Junior League World Series [in Michigan] and we can coach them up all we want but they know that they’re the ones who need to execute the plan.”
According to Hendrix, there should be plenty more to come from the team.
“They aren’t finished yet. Now that they’ve accomplished their first goal, they have their sights set on making it to the World Series,” Hendrix said. “This team feels like they’re as good as anyone in the country and is out to prove it. They’ve come together with a common focus and are going to be very tough to beat.”
The 2015 North Springs Junior All Stars include: Aaron Cornieles, Freddy Cornieles, Andrew Delgado, Dominic DiMartino, Hunter Fitz-Gerald, Luis Fuentes, Matt Hendrix, Andrew Jenner, Devin Makovsky, Coby Mayo, Craig Nagle, Noah Pace, Corbin Tsistinas and Kyle Yeoward.
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