BPR congratulates the 12U team for their outstanding performance at Cooperstown Dreams Park last week. The boys went 6-2 and finished 21st out of the 104 teams there - a great payoff for much hard work (and fun!). The 12U team is coached by Michael Lombardi, Kevin Matson and John Tino. The players and coaches dedicated this season to beloved assistant coach, Pete Sinis who passed away last December after a battle with cancer.
The following players make up the team.
We are fortunate that one of the coaches also authors a daily blog and we share his wonderful recap:
MATSON'S MUSING...considering it's a sleepy August day, I trust this post isn't too long...if so, my apologies...but anyway, here we go...
...as many of you know, I spent last week in Cooperstown NY as an assistant coach for my 12-year-old son's team in an amazing baseball tournament. 'Cooperstown Dreams Park' is a 20 year-old family-run operation that hosts a baseball tournament every week for 13 consecutive weeks of the summer. They have 22 identical fields - 50 ft mound / 70 ft bases with 200 foot - 8 ft high outfield fences. Each week 104 teams from all over the country compete and one winner is crowned at the end of the week. (It cost $900 per player or coach...if you care to run the revenue $ at home!!) We were there from Friday night until Thursday morning...we, the coaches, slept in the 'army' barracks with the team for 5 nights....one night we spent with our respective families off campus....being in the barracks was kind of like being on 'Survivor'! Getting the kids uniforms to and from laundry, getting waters, getting ice, getting to breakfast, getting to lunch, getting to dinner, getting sunscreen, getting snacks! etc....and oh yeah, playing 2 baseball games in the blazing sun every day! No A/C in the barracks either...but it was awesome.
We have 16 kids on our team, the Bedford Pound Ridge Lightning....most teams there have 11 or 12. We are a town team, meaning the kids on our team are all from either Bedford or Pound Ridge, NY. The majority of the better teams there are 'club' teams...meaning they have kids from all over and aren't beholden to any geographic restrictions. Thus they are usually very good. So, a town team with 16 kids isn't on anyone's radar as likely doing well at Cooperstown...we thought if we won a game or two that would have been awesome (and it would have!).
We ended up exceeding our wildest dreams and the kids (and coaches, parents, grandparents and siblings!) had the time of their lives and a week they will remember forever...at the end of the day, that's what it's all about. Our team has been together since they were 9 years old and this was the tournament they have been looking forward to for the past 4 years....to stick together and perform the way they did was amazing. They had a goal in mind and they were all great teammates to one another and worked very hard to achieve a good showing in Cooperstown. Such a great group of kids and I consider myself truly lucky to have shared this experience with them and couldn't be any more proud.
Here are some Fun Facts and photos from our week....Cooperstown truly is magical! A special thanks to all of you who have supported our team along the way and humored me last week with words of encouragement - more appreciated than you will ever know - thank you!
* We had a 5-1 record in pool play beating teams from CA, MA, MN, NC, and NJ: we lost to a team from NH.
* We earned the #21 seed (out of 104 teams) and received 3 play off byes. We won our first play off game vs. a different team from NC.
* We lost to a team from MD in the round of 32. Thus giving us a total record of 6-2 (.750 winning percentage!)
* We had 9 kids pitch and 11 kids hit home runs for a total of 23 home runs (including 2 grand slams)!
* We also qualified for the finals and finished #6 (out of 104 teams) in TWO out of the four skills competitions after the Opening ceremonies! (Road Runner and Around the Horn)
* We had a .470 team batting average and outscored our opponents 101-38!
We were at the batting cages at 7am the first day....apparently 19 people in one room don't sleep very late!
Opening Ceremony at 'The Stadium' (thx EF)
My daughter trying to catch candy during the Opening Ceremony....not a home run ball! Our fan section!
Keeping the barracks 'clean' was like building a sand castle in a rising tide!