8U Finishes 7th Overall in the State in Palm Beach !!!Updated Tuesday July 3, 2018 by Donnie Snyder.
July 1st 2018, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
The 8U Northwest All Star Team completed an incredible journey this weekend by representing the West Coast of Florida at the State Tournament in Palm Beach Gardens after defeating an impressive field of teams at the district tournament in Ocala two weeks prior. Game 1 of the tournament didn't go as planned, as NW dug themselves a hole by losing to Argyle. Coming into day two with an 0-1 record, the NW team rallyed to beat an amazing Oviedo team. NW then cruised to victory against Belleview to advance to bracket play with a field of eight teams. Overall, NW finished 7th, but their heart and determination was evident as NW sent many top level teams home this trip. Here are some highlights:
Camden Luke was a force at the plate, hitting close to .900 for the tournament. Luke was so good, that Coach Jimmy had no choice but to move him into the three hole.
Kayden Deilkes, coming off an MVP type performance in Ocala, continued his hot play in Palm Beach. Deilkes anchored 2nd base making diving plays and great reads all tournament long.
Kamren Kimble proved why he was the right man for the job by controlling the infield at the pitcher spot. Kimble all but forced teams to hit by fielding every bunted hit his way. Kimble also snagged line drive after line drive to keep runs off the board. In the leadoff spot, Kimble smoked every ball he hit.
Danny Snyder moved back to his natural position at first base and he didn't disappoint. Snyder was a wall at first base, and scooped whatever the infield threw his way. Snyder also moved runners and racked up RBI's all tournament.
Jackson Kwilecki was a force at third base, improving on his defensive game and working hard to prove he was the right man for the job. Kwilecki crushed several balls that resulted in doubles and triples, as well as made key plays on bunts and tags. Kwilecki embraced a leadership role as well.
Gunnar Barnes caught every single inning, and had enough gas in the tank to contribute key hits all tournament long. Barnes was a trooper, and contunues to improve his game every day. Barnes also left his natural position at first base to anchor the team behind the plate.
Max Wing moved from his natural position second base to play shortstop, and within minutes showed he wasn't afraid to get dirty. Wing made play after play after play to solidify the NW defense. He also used his bunting skill set to get on base all weekend.
Joey Giacalone had several key defensive plays in which he killed the other teams rally as well as throws that kept runners from advancing. Giacalone worked on his outfield game every day by trusting his coaches and listening to instruction. He also legged out several hits to beat the throw to first.
Jack Conza had a great tournament. Conza was the victim of some bad luck at the plate on occassion, but kept fighting through to pick up many clutch hits. Conza also worked on his defense by learning key backup situations which led to saving several runs.
Jacob Barnes also left his natural position at first base to solidify the defense in rightfield. Barnes worked tirelessly all tournament long to make sure nothing got past him and backed up his defense on every play. Barnes also hit the ball hard all weekend long.
Carson Johnson played the role of hero several times by coming up in key situations and delivering when called upon. Johnson recently turned seven years old, and learned and matured throughout the tournament. Johnson will be a force on the diamond for years to come.
Trey Budreau played the role of the ultimate team player. Starved for playing time, Budreau made the most of his opportunities filling in for injured players as well as contributing both offensively and defensively when called upon. Budreau was ready to go whenever needed and at only seven years old, will be a name to watch.
Some highlights and key plays were:
1) Kayden Deilkes acrobatic leap in the air to steal away a sure triple.
2) Kamren Kimble's diving play behind him with the bases loaded to end the threat.
3) Camden Luke snag of a line drive that was sure to fall in for an inside the park home run.
4) Jacob Barnes uncorking a ball from RF to Gunnar Barnes to nail a runner trying to tag up.
5) Joey Giacalone firing a ball to Barnes from LF and Barnes swiping the tag to get the out.
6) Danny Snyder switching his feet to snag an errent throw up the line, taking the hit from the runner, and holding on to the ball.
7) Jack Kwilecki blocking third base on a throw from Jack Conza and holding the tag to get the call.
8) Jack Conza backing up a throw to second and immediately throwing to second to nail the runner.
9) Max Wing creating a pickle to beat Ovideo with help from Kayden Deilkes, Jack Kwilecki, and Kam Kimble.
10) Trey Budreau sliding into second to break up a sure double play.
11) Carson Johnson laying down a perfect bunt to advance the tying and go ahead runs.
12) Gunnar Barnes holding on to a thrid strike foul ball that ended a bases loaded threat.
This was an amazing experience for the boys, and Coach Jim Budreau, Coach Carlos Gomez, Coach Leon Fleming, and Coach Donnie Snyder would like to thank the parents for trusting us and believing in us.