ENGLEWOOD — The Englewood Little League Junior Division and 10-12 All-Star teams have begun their practices for the District 16 tournaments.
The 10-12 All-Stars should have a quality one-two pitching duo in Wesley Stines and Drew Smith. Stines was the No. 1 pitcher for league champion Lemon Bay Funeral Home, and Smith was the top pitcher for second-place Key Agency. Both pitchers threw no-hitters in the regular-season and were also good hitters. Englewood also has some players who can pitch in relief. Wyatt Seckel is a fine all-around player and one of the team’s best hitters.
The 10-12 division tournament will begin June 24. Englewood will take on North Port in the opener. The 10-12 division games will be played at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota.
“We look pretty good,” said 10-12 manager Shane Whitehead. “We have good pitching and the kids are working hard.”
The 10-12 Englewood team might have an advantage in that it’s the only Englewood team besides the Junior Division. Other District 16 organizations have to divide their players into three divisions; 10-12, 11-year-old and 9-10. The 9-10 and 11-year-old tournaments also will be played at Twin Lakes Park.
Sean Kirsten is an assistant coach for Key Agency. He also is the manager of the Englewood Junior Division team. Lonne Moore is an assistant coach. The Junior Division team will play Venice in a best 2-out of 3 series. The Junior Division will start June 21 and all the game will be played in Venice (Venice is the only other Junior Division all-star team in District 16. Englewood (also called the Elks) had an 11-3 record against in the regular season, so they could have an advantage over Venice.
Kirstan has four pitchers to choose from, Matthew Whitmore, Devyn Kirsten, Caleb Whitmore and Andrew Pulaskie.
“We should do well,” Kirsten said. “We had some problems getting our full rosters but we now have enough with nine or 10 players.”
Following the 10-12 and Junior Division playoffs, the winners will advance to the regionals. Last year, the Englewood Junior Division team advanced to the regionals because no other District 16 league fielded an all-star Junior Division team.
These are the members of the 10-12 and Junior Division All-Stars.
10-12 All-Stars: Andrew Smith, Wesley Stines, Wyatt Seckel, Brennan Vaughn, Jayden Bishop, Nevaeh Warren, Riley Wilson, Colton Whithead, Rylan Slattery, Jordan Kirsten, Jack Boisvert, Drew Moorman, Tyler Whitmore.
Junior All-Stars: Devyn Kirsten, Carson Moore, Matthew Sacco, Caleb Whitmore, Nathan Coffey, Nash Dowd, Aiden Bell, Matthew Whitmore, Andrew Pulaskie, Ayden Wear, Roman Hildebrand.