Not only has the Parkland Pokers 10-and-under travel baseball team made a name for itself within the local circuit, but the sluggers have now gotten recognized statewide.
According to the United States Specialty Sports Association, the ball club recently was ranked in the top 10 for 10-and-under teams across the state. It’s no small accomplishment.
The selection, for which about 100 teams were in contention, was determined by tournament wins and run differentials as well as general season progress.
“The kids are very excited about it because it’s one of the best ways to show their dedication to themselves and their team,” said Pokers coach Chris Collins. “We’ve had about 90 percent of our core group of players together for approximately two years, and I’ve seen all of them improve tremendously as a team and as individuals.”
Pokers’ shortstop/right-handed-pitcher T.J. Guice, 10, knows what it means to appreciate such recognition.
“I’m excited to be on one of the top 10 teams in the state because it’s nice to see that all of our hard work has paid off,” said Guice, who has been on the team since it’s inception a couple years ago.
The 12-player roster’s talent is what has earned the recent accomplishment and is projected to keep the team’s momentum moving forward to finish out 2012 strong.
Right-handed pitcher Kane Piccininni and lefty Zac Schultz have kept the Parkland Pokers’ walks down while keeping the games under control. In addition, the hurlers have been getting solid run support from third baseman/short stop Christopher Kahler and outfielder Jared Gould, both of whom are hitting about .400.
Colllins’ contingent is scheduled to head north next week to participate at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports for a Thanksgiving weekend tournament. The Pokers look to piggy-back on their newly-earned title.
“We’re going to continue to work hard,” Collins said. “We bring in hitting and pitching instructors to keep improving in those areas, and it’s great to see the kids continue their motivation and dedication.”
Guice offered his opinion from the playerss perspective on the team’s upcoming outlook.
“I’m part of such a great team,” Guice said. “We win together and we lose together, but I know we’ll keep winning because of everyone’s commitment to become a better team.”
NORTH SPRINGS LITTLE LEAGUE
Onsite registration for the North Springs Little League 2013 spring season will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 8 at North Community Park, 5601 Coral Springs Drive. Contact Joe Sarakinis at 954-821-2736 or visit http://www.eteamz.com/northsprings. All baseball players between the ages of 7 through 18 (by April 30, 2013) who live north of Wiles Road in Coral Springs are welcome. Returning players need to verify their address with current utility bill. New players must bring a copy of their birth certificate, and their parents need to bring a driver’s license and recent utility bill.