The 8-10-year-old Floyd Gwin All-Stars already have one goal checked off the list, winning the title of Texas West District 3 Champions on June 20.
The team from Odessa now has another goal to start on this weekend as it begins play the Section 1 Tournament on Saturday.
The first game is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Butler Sports Complex in Midland against the District 2 champions from Lubbock Western Little League. The tournament runs through July 4.
The sectional tournament has a total of five teams, including Clarendon, Fort Stockton and the winner from District 38, which was still to be determined.
“We went 4-0 in the District Tournament and had a couple of exciting games against some of the teams in Midland,” head coach Abe Mendez said. “Our team showed a great deal of poise and perseverance in those games.”
That resilience came through in the championship game against the Midland Northern All-Stars, a game that Floyd Gwin won 7-5.
And even while battling tough challenge, Mendez said he enjoys being surrounded by the energy and attitude from the kids.
“It’s very exciting and uplifting,” he said. “They bring a lot of energy and they show a lot of enthusiasm and show a lot of passion and commitment for the game that they love.”
Mendez also said that what he enjoys about this year’s group of 13 players is that they play well together.
He credits his assistant coaches, Tito Gavaldon and John Rodriguez, for helping instill that attitude.
“From our first practice, we talked with the kids and the parents about how we had a strong team,” Mendez said. “The kids work so well together and it just goes back that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to advance as far as they can.”
The 13 players on this year’s team are Leiland Chavez, Halen Cranfill, Damion Gonzalez, Boston Leyva, Aiden Muniz, Jorge Pando, Araly Pol, Jace Rader, Jason Rodrigueez, Ismael Salgado, Daniel Sanchez, Abdiel Tavarez and Jakobe Williams.
And after coming through with a district title, Mendez is confident that his team has what it takes to wini the sectional tournament.
“As long as we continue to compete well, I feel like we have a great chance to continue on and advance,” he said. “We’re going to have bad innings and bad moments, but the fact that we believe in ourselves shows that we can overcome those challenges.”
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