The league will allow any interested players in District 9, which also includes Woodbridge, Lorton, Fort Hunt and Woodlawn Little Leagues, to play a second Little League season during the fall months.
In previous years, players in Prince William County interested in competing in the fall played in the Extended Baseball League (EBL), where coaches would recruit players and any extra kids not selected would be placed on a team.
“We didnt like a few of the things they were doing and a lot of people were unhappy with it,” DTQ Little League President Mel Barlow said. “Dont get me wrong, EBL did a great job with what they had, but we felt that it would be better if the little leagues became involved and allowed everyone to play.”
The District 9 Fall Ball league will have two divisions, each with different rules for selecting players. One league will resemble EBLs format in which coaches recruit or “freeze” their players.
The Freeze Division will allow coaches to select 12 players for their team without a player draft. The second division is for any interested players. Coaches will be allowed to freeze up to five players and then select the rest of their players via draft. In the EBL, unselected players would be randomly put on teams, but it would usually be only one or two players per team.
The Little Leagues wanted to find a better way to incorporate additional players not affiliated with coaches.
“We think this is the best way to involve everyone,” Barlow said. “We want the league to be as fair as possible. EBL sometimes would have unequal teams as coaches would load up on players. We are hoping that this format will allow for things to be more competitive.”
The league begins play August 24th and will run for six weeks. At the end of the season the two divisions will combine to play a tournament.
The top teams from the draft division will be placed with the top teams and the freeze division in one tournament. The lower teams from each division will be grouped together in another tournament.
Players will have to pay based on age. Kids in coach pitch (ages 6-8) and minors (8-10) costs $60, while kids in the majors division (ages 9-11) costs $70. Players in the juniors (ages 12-13) and seniors (14-15) cost $80. Falletta said that teams who provide their own uniforms will be given a $20 discount per player.
“Our biggest thing was having umpires,” Dale City Little League President Vinny Falletta said. “I had four boys all play in EBL and I would have to umpire a lot of the games. As a parent its hard to enjoy the games, so we are going to make sure we have the proper people behind the plate to make it a good experience for the kids.”
The only problem that the upcoming league has faced is securing fields with the Prince William County Park Authority.
“They have been kind of grand fathered in and have control of the fields,” Falletta said. “What Im proposing is that the Park Authority distribute fields based on numbers. If we end up having more people than there is no reason why our kids should have to play on sub-standard fields.”
Both leagues will submit their numbers to the Park Authority in the second week of August and then will then distribute the fields.
EBL President Carl Antolick is not worried about the new league. He said that he only wants to provide local players an opportunity to play and does not like a lot of Little Leagues rules.
“This isnt politics or anything, its just baseball,” Antolick said. “Im not actually quite sure what Little League is trying to do. They tried to start a league last year and it didnt work out so it will be interesting to see how things turn out.”
EBL has been the authority for fall baseball in Prince William County for the past 18 years. Antolick said that his league stresses giving players an opportunity to play and does not bog itself down with strict rules like Little League.
“I think they are a little out of hand with their rules,” Antolick said. “They just make things worse. We dont count wins or losses and just put kids in a tournament in the end to play for a trophy. Thats it. We want everyone to have fun”
“Little League can do whatever they want with this,” Antolick said. “We are just here to give kids a place to play and something to do in the fall. I would like to turn this over to someone else, but Im worried that it would fall apart and then there would be no place for them to play.”
“All the Little Leagues in the area, except for Woodbridge, have gone down in numbers the past few years and now they want to take over fall ball? Im worried that they will treat it as a secondary thing and not give it the attention it deserves.”
Antolick continued, “The Little Leagues are all about all-star teams and stuff like that and we do not want a part of that. They are worried about having their teams look good and I think if they will see this as a minor thing once the all-star tournaments are over and thats not fair to the kids.”
Players interested in playing in the EBL can call Antolick at 703-590-5822 for more information.
Anyone interested in the District 9 Fall Ball league can sign up at the Turley Building on Dale Blvd. in Dale City today through Friday from 6-8 p.m.
Signups will continue Saturday from 12-3 p.m. and on Sunday from 1-3 p.m. also at the Turley Building. Anyone needing more information can call 703-583-0444 or visit the Dale City Little League web site at dcll.org.
REDD COMMITS TO VIRGINIA TECH
After a long wait, Hylton catcher Adam Redd finally has a home for next fall.
Redd, who was the Cardinal District, Northwest Region and Potomac News & Manassas Journal Messenger Player of the Year this past season, committed to play at Virginia Tech last week.
Redd said that he visited Virginia Tech three weeks ago and they offered him a 53 percent scholarship. He said it was between Tech and Xavier, who offered him a 70 percent scholarship, but Tech won out.
“In the end, it just seemed like Virginia Tech had more players drafted and thats a big thing for me,” Redd said. “Virginia Tech just seemed like they would help me get drafted and just seemed like a better place.”
Redd said that he does not know what position he will play for the Hokies, but it will either be third base, catcher or pitcher. Hed prefer not to catch.
“Its a little harder on the knees,” Redd joked. “If it were up to me, Id do something else.”
Redd hit .458 with eight home runs and 33 RBI his senior year at Hylton. He will be joined at Virginia Tech by Hylton teammates Joel Miller and Philip Beall.
“It was so great to see it happen for him,” Hylton coach John Colantouni said. “He was such a wonderful player and a joy to watch. I am glad that he will have a place to play next year and he has made a good decision.”
Redd is playing with the Bethesda Big Train in the Clark Griffith League this summer. He is hitting .357 with two doubles and two RBI in five games. He is also 0-1 as a pitcher with a 3.78 ERA in five appearances.
He was also was recruited by Virginia Commonwealth, North Carolina State, Indiana and Coastal Carolina.
DTQ TAKES TITLE
Trailing 9-5 in the bottom of the sixth inning against West Springfield Blue, the DTQ Little League 8- and 9-year old all-star team scored five runs to win the District 9 Fun Tournament in dramatic fashion at Veterans Park.
“They were real cardiac kids,” DTQ coach Andy Bringuel said. “They never gave up and kept fighting the whole tournament.”
Members of the leagues 9- and 10-year-old and 11-12 year-old all-star teams were part of over 50 people on hand to watch the final.
DTQ went 5-0 in the tournament to win the leagues first championship in 12 years. They opened with a 13-11 victory over Woodlawn and then defeated Woodbridge, 16-7, on a two-hitter by pitcher Connor Hall.
Fort Hunt then forfeited the next game to put DTQ in the semifinal round against West Springfield Red.
DTQ scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat West Springfield Red, 9-8. Then in the championship game, they made their dramatic comeback against West Springfield Blue to capture the title.
DTQ needed special permission to get four of its players in the tournament. The league had trouble fielding enough players for the team and brought up four 7-year-olds to complete the roster.
Charlie Hall, Scotty Soltis, Drew Bringuel and Justin Fontane each played up in the tournament and helped the winning cause. Fontane is actually 6 years old, but has a league age of 7.
The young team, though, did not have any problems. They pounded out 26 hits and scored 44 runs in the four games, despite having only six players on the roster who had participated in kid pitch entering the tournament.
In some leagues, coaches will do the pitching, but in all-star competition the players themselves must pitch. DTQ had only six players with prior experience in this format.
There is no state tournament for the 8- and 9-year-old division.
“These boys represent what the game is all about and while they like the game win or love the love the sport and the chance to play,” Andy Bringuel said.
Team members are: Zachary Cropp, Anju Desai, Dalton Lamb, Cameron Bhatti, Brendan Castro, Nathan Harmon, Christopher Colletti, Cameron Bakhtiar, William Easterwood, Charlie Hall, Connor Hall, Soltis, Fontane and Drew Bringuel. The team is coached by Andy Bringuel, Dave Harmon and Sean Lamb.
WOODBRIDGE STARS play well in TOURNAMENT
The Woodbridge Little League Junior All-Star team went 4-2 in the District 9 Tournament the last two weeks at Wall Field in Montclair.
Woodbridge opened the tournament with a 6-4 victory over Fort Hunt on June 29, but was shut out by Central Springfield 16-0.
On July 2, Woodbridge defeated DTQ 10-6 and then beat Lorton 10-5 on July 6. They continued their solid play with a 10-6 win over Dale City.
In its final game, Woodbridge lost 9-1 to Woodlawn and failed to reach the playoffs.
Team members are: Daniel Green, Tommy Hoffman, Joel Davidson, Justin Cook, Scott Downs, C.J. Stecher, Jason Williams, Tony Miller, Jeffery Martin, Justin Day, Jeff Moore, Joshua Prica and Michael Sutdholme. The team is manager by Kevin Laver and coached by Mac Slover and Keith Davidson.
David Stegon covers summer baseball for the Potomac News & Manassas Journal Messenger. Reach him at 703-878-8053 or by e-mail at [email protected]