The Venice All-Star Juniors, a team composed of 13-14-year-olds, began their District tournament with the first game of a best-of-three series against the Englewood All-Stars on Friday night at Wellfield Park.
The Venice team is composed of 10 players from the Junior team in District 12. The two rivals know each other extremely well, having battled one another all season. It’s the best of three, double elimination format for the district all-stars, with Venice hosting all three games. Today’s and Sunday’s games will be at 9:30 a.m.
“It was challenging to keep the kids motivated knowing they’re playing the same team each time we got together; as far as providing instruction, the kids came from 0-to-100 as far as their skill level,” said Chris Perz, Venice All-Star Juniors head coach.
"You can attribute much of that to their own dedication and the coaching, not just myself, but the other two coaches (Joe Dalton and Dan Esposito).”
The all-star game is the culmination of the season, said Perz.
“Now we get to take that to the all-star level. I certainly hope to beat Englewood, who is the other district all-star team in the three game series and be able to move on, and play in the sectionals in Fort Myers,” said Perz.
The Venice Junior All-Stars are composed of Benjamin Cooper; Joseph Dalton; Tye Esposito; Hunter Melvin; Gabriel Owen; Colton Perz; Jayden Rine; Talon Richards; Talor Richards and Jake Thornton.