Little League all stars prepare for epic District 54 bracketsBy: Ike Dodson■Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
WOODCREEK LITTLE LEAGUE
9-10: Cole Awtrey, Tyler Blankenship, Conner Enslow, Gerald Hanson, Jacob Harvey, Isaac Hawthrone, Garrett Krupp, Kyle Malkiewicz, Zackary Malone, Nico Nielsen, Braden Sloan, Riley Tagert, Caden Thompson, Jacob Whitaker. Manager: Erik Hanson. Coaches: Bob Blankenship, Doug Sloan. Team Parent: Jennifer Whitaker
11s: Luke Aubin, Cade Blevins, Kyler Coburn, Ethan Gonthier, Braden Grover, Daniel Hirata, Carson Keim, John Klus, William Le, Anthony Martinez, Dominic Ott, Cooper Thompson, Michael Wright. Manager: Gary Aubin. Coaches: Chris Keim, Marc Mostajo. Team parent: Courtney Blevins
Majors: Ethan Astor, JT Bauser, James Courshon, Bryce Court, Alec Gums, Jason Hanson, Jake Headington, Cameron Jones, Aiden Martinez, Dylan Morillas, Ryan Palmer, Andrew Paolini, Riley Regan, Zachery Watari. Manager: Eric Gums. Coaches: Mike Watari, Lou Paolini. Team parent: Stacie Martinez
Juniors: Colton Baron, Kyle Colin, Dylan Hess, Kyle Kern, Nicholas Paolini, Ryan Harvey, Greg Rotteveel, Kaden Siska, Connor Maurizzio, Weston Huff, Declan O'Bryan, Trevor Rice, Garrett Shurtz. Manager: Cody Baron. Coaches: Mike Baron, Mike Hess. Team Parent: Dawn Baron
Seniors: Mason Whitney, Nick Hendricks, Jack Fitzpatrick, Aidan Gums, Zach Horne
Justin Smith, Spencer Cody, Dylon Steinhoff, Casey Fischbach, Jack Frantz, Matt Hanson, Dorian Carpenter, Jeremy Heister, Jeremy McCullom. Manager: Nick Hendricks. Coaches: Makani Lum, Rob Horne. Team parent: Stephanie Smith
MAIDU LITTLE LEAGUE
9-10: Bryse Bentley, Max Metzger, Cade Hunter, Lucas Simpkins, Luke Garman, Nolan French, Hayden Swanson, Cade Hinds, Nate Venneri, Kurt Marton, Jayce O'Connell, Nolan Pherigo, Andrew Richards, Garrett Paxton. Manager: Scott Marton. Coaches: Todd Venneri, Bryan Bentley, Denny Hinds
11s: Jacob Neiman, Ryan Gallagher, Beau Boyan, Alex Johnson, Ramiro Velasquez, Blake Bentley, Chris Caldera, Alexander Moloo, Kai Peterson, Brycen Ward, Talsen Smith, Hayden Abbruzzese, Aiden Munns, Logan Sutter. Manager: Tom Gallagher. Coaches: Brian Boyan, Jeremy Sutter. Team parent: Patrice Boyan
Majors: Gavin Glaspie, Jack Placido, Austin Wisnicky, Andrew Thane, Steven, Thinglum, Reed Mercer, Connor Sloan, Jacob Nabity, Carson French, Alex Totty,, Justin Clark, Ryan Phillips, Nolan Wilson. Manager: Jason Phillips. Coach: Greg French
ROSEVILLE WEST LITTLE LEAGUE
9-10: Josh Alger, Joey Bagley, Aidan Chang, Brayden Dotoli, Ramon Esparza III, Colton Farr, Jadon Groves, Parker Helleckson, Ethan LaPlante, Colin Nugent, Joey Plise, Nico Ruggerio, Caden Stringer. Manager: Brandon Dotoli. Coaches: Joe Bagley, Matt Wolfe
11s: Will Bautista, Cameron Belton, Zachary Cartwright, Cole Errecart, Theodore Faith, Jeffrey Fisher, Bret Knudsen, Jared Law, Mason Morgan, Christian Perry, Victor Ramirez, Chase Robbins, Tyler Robbins, Tanner Rubey. Manager: Erik Knudsen. Coaches: Pat Rubey, Lauren Faith
Majors: Austin Anderson, Jack Bautista, Bryson Eslinger, Rich Fobbs, Colin Goodell
Justin Kim, Chase Meniatis, Charlie Nugent, Trevor Regan, Brandon Renstrom,, Tomas Robles, Dylan Rose, Jordan Susbilla, TJ Vlahos. Manager: Jeff Kim. Coaches: Brion Lutz, Shane Nelson
LAKESIDE LITTLE LEAGUE
9-10: Brandon Baker, Cole Brommeland, Cole Christoffersen, Ryan Egan, Wylie Foster, Hayden Ghufran, Nicholas Grivette, Dominic Houghton, Bennett Jones, Kevin MacIntosh, Cole Marment, Cole Roth, Dominic Soares, Garrett Thrash. Manger: Lance Soares. Coaches: Dave McIntosh, Anthony Egan
11s: Maxwell Bartosh, Daniel Doss, Rylan Dunnmore, Max Ernst, Wyattte Farman
Luke Gini, Kevin Heiskell, Trey Jacobi , Jeremy Kozlowski, Jared Miller, Derek Schwarze, Stephen Stannard, Ryan Wenstrom. Manager: Brian Ernst. Coaches: Rich Doss, Chad Dunmore
Majors: Bear Bews, Taitan Capel, Ethan Case, Robert Gillespy, Spencer Griffiths, Preston Lehmann, Jacob Northam, TJ Patterson, Ty Peterson, Aiden Rosenthal, Matthew Soran, Drew Walling, Payton Wilkin. Manager: Tom Northam. Coaches: Dan Bews, Ryan Walling.
Andrew Richards steps up the dish with swagger of the Great Bambino on June 19 at Maidu Park.
With one mighty swing of the bat, he belts an outside pitch deep into centerfield, cruising well beyond the reach of any would-be outfielders.
His baleen grin could troll for krill.
Richards’ confidence at the plate during practice is a common theme for the 9-10 division Maidu Little League All Stars, one of 14 local Little League squads preparing for Saturday’s entry into the District 54 brackets.
Maidu is one of the smaller programs in the area, boasting just 440 players league-wide, but the 9-10 team sports the poise of a storied franchise — because they are.
After last year’s early exit from district competition, Maidu coaches rallied together an all-star roster to compete year-round on a travel baseball team, the Roseville 54s. The squad, appropriately linked to an alien mascot, blazed new trails in the unfamiliar territory of competitive travel baseball.
The team quickly rolled to a bounty of wins throughout the year, even winning the reputed Sunrise Little League Memorial Tournament in May. The team racked up 23 hits in a 19-5 shellacking in the tourney finals.
Year-round baseball is new to Maidu, but it’s nothing alien to other local programs. Maidu’s 9-10 All Star coach, Scott Marton, said he modeled their offseason progression after other successful leagues in Placer County.
“We’ve seen Woodcreek, Roseville West and Lakeside produce a lot of all star kids that play travel ball, and we wanted to start that tradition,” Marton said. “We don’t have a superstar like (former Woodcreek players) Carson Blatnick and Daniel Susac, but we play really well together.
“We also hit the crap out of the ball.”
Maidu opens with Cosumnes River Saturday at Roseville High’s Richards Field, the home of Roseville West Little League. Richards Field will host the 9-10 bracket (12 teams) while four other locations throughout Placer County play host to District 54 all stars.
The 10-11 division (11 teams) plays at Jeff Mitchell Field in El Dorado Hills. Eleven major division teams meet at Ronald L. Feist Park in Granite Bay while nine junior teams square off at Stonehouse Park in Rancho Murieta. The two senior teams (Gold Rush and Woodcreek) play at Mahany Park in Roseville.
District 54 champions move on to play in the Section 4 Tournament against four other districts for a shot at the Division 2 Championships. From there, teams vie for a shot the Western Regionals in San Bernardino and the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. (majors and up).
The first step is District 54, and local squads from Maidu, Woodcreek, Roseville West and Lakeside have plenty of competition to work against. Folsom American won both the major and junior divisions of Tournament of Champions play, and should shine in all-star brackets.
The 9-10 Maidu players are on the right track with their offseason preparation, but everyone is an all star at this point.
“We are peaking at the right time, but we are going to run into some buzz saws,” coach Marton said. “But I think there is something special to these kids playing together.
“We believe in each other.”
They also believe in aliens, but its time to take the Maidu All-Stars seriously.
Email Ike Dodson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @Ike_Dodson.