Friday, June 21, 2024

Playing above their age

19 Storm 10U-D'Angelo
Storm 10U-D’Angelo

The Highland Village STORM D’Angelo 10-year-old baseball team played the majority of their spring 2016 games at the 11-year-old level. This exceptional feat was accomplished by the outstanding efforts of these North Texas boys and their coaches.

Starting the season off winning the Triple Crown Sports Texas Season opening championship by defeating the Collin County Express 11-4 and capturing the first of three championships and the first of three Super Bowl sized championship rings, the team followed by winning the USSSA Spring Slugfest Championship in Grapevine by winning six tournament games over two days and beating the Spitfire Baseball team 6-5 in the championship game.

The Texas Elite Baseball Association (TEBA) of North Texas has a league for all “Select” youth ages and the Highland Village STORM D’Angelo of ten year olds, played in the 11-year-old league and won the championship over all teams in their division, from Colleyville, Southlake, Coppell, Corinth, Flower Mound, Keller, Denton and Justin.

The boys capped off the season by winning eight straight baseball games in the Triple Crown Sports Texas State Championships, including the final championship game 5-0 and securing their third gold championship ring.

Select level of youth baseball is extremely competitive and playing in your own age group is a challenge. Playing – up at one year older is significant at this age; however, the 10-year-old, STORM D’Angelo team excelled at the 11-year-old level.

Winning a championship at the “select” level requires that the team must win all Sunday bracket games, including the final championship game. Many times the team is required to play their first game at 8 a.m. in the single elimination bracket, similar to the March Madness basketball tournament, condensed into a single weekend. The championship game can take place at 8 p.m. and the squad may play four or five games on a Sunday.

Rain in May washed out three major tournaments and a minimum of 12 games and yet, the boys still managed to play 42 tournament and league games. The shorter fall season is shaping up for the players to compete in at least 30 TEBA league and select tournament games.

The team of boys are very compatible and enjoy playing the game and having swim parties and sleepovers on off nights. They enjoy one another and respect is high for all teammates. Coaches teach sportsmanship first and the boys always shake the opponents and umpires’ hands after every game. Players are taught not to argue a call with the umpires.

All the coaches have a goal to help the players earn a berth on their future High School baseball team. Teaching skills is important; however, learning the game and having fun is high on the priority list for the coaches and instructor.

The team of select young athletes are; Rishi Chapati (Highland Village), Alex D’Angelo (Lantana), Chino Hernandez (Corinth), Brady Janusek (Flower Mound), Ethan Jones (Flower Mound), Mason Lucero (Lantana), Parker Mikulas (Highland Village), Tucker Mitchell (Lantana), Brayden Rosckes (Copper Canyon), John Russell (Argyle), Aidan Wright (Highland Village). Coaches: Tom D’Angelo (Head Coach), Jared Rosckes and Rusty Russell (Assistant Coaches).

Brian Peterson, a seasoned Major League Baseball professional and a professional baseball instructor has assisted the team to improve their skills during practices. The exceptional level of instruction and coaching has aided the boys to perform at the higher age level. In addition to regular practices at Unity Park in Highland Village, the team practiced indoors at the Backyard Dugout in Argyle.

Local sponsors have assisted the team to afford many of their select tournaments. Some notable sponsors are Bahama Bucks (Double Oak), Nationwide Insurance (Flower Mound), IN-N-OUT Burger (Grapevine), James Wood (Denton), the Johnson family and Pollis family (Lantana), Lois Lyles Realtor (Highland Village), Entertainment Inc (Highland Village), Orthopedic Associates (Flower Mound & Lewisville), Rawlings (Argyle) and Reddy Ice (Dallas). Sponsors are also instrumental in assisting the team play a major tournament in Cooperstown New York, the home of Major League Baseball Hall Of Fame, in 2018

The team is supported by the Highland Village Area Baseball & Softball Association, HVABSA. The organization fields “select” baseball teams ranging from 7 years (new this year) to 16 years of age. Practices and TEBA home games are held at the Unity Park fields in Highland Village. The STORM organization welcomes select players from all areas of North Texas and the Highland Village STORM D’Angelo team will be 11 U this fall and are looking to add a couple additional players for fall 2016 and spring 2017. Interested parents can contact coach Tom D’Angelo directly at [email protected] or 805- 217-2671.

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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