ENGLEWOOD — The Englewood Little League Junior Division All Star team will open the District 16 tournament June 21 against host Venice. The teams will play a best two-out-of-three series with the winner advancing to the regions.
Englewood and Venice are the only teams in the district tournament. All the games will be at Venice Wellfield.
The Englewood Elks — which make up the Englewood Junior All Stars — dominated Venice during the regular season, going 11-3. But Venice won the last regular-season game easily and can’t be counted out.
“I think our pitching is our strongest point,” said Englewood manager Sean Kirsten. “We have four top pitchers and two others who can back them up well.”
The top four pitchers are Devyn Kirsten, Matt Whitmore, Caleb Whitmore and Andrew Pulaskie.
Rightfield-first baseman Nathan Coffey has been hampered by a minor injury, but has a good chance of being ready for the tournament.
Following the district tournament, the winner will compete in the sectional tournament in the Fort Myers area. The regional tournament will follow that and then the state tournament against teams from other teams.
Junior Divison All Stars are Devyn Kirsten, Carson Moore, Matthew Sacco, Caleb Whitmore, Nathan Coffey, Nash Dowd, Aiden Bell, Matthew Whitmore, Andrew Pulaskie, Ayden Wear, Roman Hildebrand.
10-12 All Stars
The 10-12 Englewood All Stars will open the District 16 tournament at 6:30 p.m. June 24 against North Port at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota. North Port has several players from the Tigers, who won the Battle of the Border tournament last month in North Port. The championship game of the 10-12 division will be played at Atwater Community Park in North Port.
These are the members of the 10-12 and Junior Division 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 and Tyler Whitmore.
Junior Mantas basketball
In other Englewood area youth sports, the Junior Mantas boys basketball program — consisting mostly of L.A. Ainger Middle School players — will have weekly basketball games for most of the summer starting June 15. It will give players a chance to stay in shape and improve their skills.
The Junior Mantas seventh-grade team won three tournaments in the recent season. Those players will be eighth-grade players in the fall at L.A. Ainger.
The L.A. Ainger boys and girls basketball teams will begin fall practice shortly after school starts in late August. Bobby Bounds is the boys coach and Marla Lanham is the girls coach.