11U Team to Watch – SY Titans

As part of our ongoing feature series that spotlights the top teams that are emerging in 2012, we look at another team from the Pacific/Western region – The SY Titans. This team is from Santa Ynez, California – a city located in the beautiful valleys just about a half hour north of Santa Barbara. They have played excellent baseball throughout this fall season having compiled a 14-3-1 record as an 11U team. Along the way, they won the So Cal Super NIT beating #1 ranked Oakley Stingrays in the finals. Observers say that game turned on an amazing, diving catch by Titans centerfielder, Hunter Bryan. He robbed Stingrays’ All American power hitter, Tony Galindo, of a sure double that would have put the Stingrays tying run in scoring position.

 

11U12-CAN-SYTitansFallW

 

This SY Titans team was started 3 years ago when the boys were 8 years old. While the team has had its struggles, it has acquired a reputation of being a tough and scrappy group that continues to improve each year. They are coached by Andy Knightley and assisted by Vic Welker and Chad Benson. They are managed by David Lawrence, who built a beautiful home stadium for this team. Their stadium is situated near his strawberry farms and in the middle of his backyard. It can be seen on their website (www.SYTitans.com). They are always looking for teams to come play double headers. 

 

The team has steadily improved over each of their past three seasons. Last year as 10U’s, they finished 3rd at Cooperstown – losing to the Beaver Valley Red in Semi Finals. They won at Triple Crown’s Fall Finish, Simi Valley Memorial Day, USSSA Summer Slam II. They participated in numerous Super NIT’s and Triple Crown events.  Playing against tough competition has always been part of Coach Knightley’s and David Lawrence’s plan to continuously develop these boys into outstanding young athletes and equip them with the fundamentals necessary to become the best players possible.

 

This year’s Titans have attracted quite a few new players from all over Central California. Many of the kids play on other local teams, but the Titans are always their priority when a big tournament is scheduled.  They now feel confident that this year’s Titans team can compete against the best teams in the state and the country. The proof is their Super NIT win over the Nomads Elite, Rawlings Pico Elite, Wolverines, and the #1 ranked Oakley Stingrays. The Titan’s 2012 Roster is shown below.

 

#

Name

Position(s)

Bats

Throws

Age

17

Cooper Benson

P·C·1B

L

L

11

4

Hunter Bryan

SS·P·OF

R

R

11

25

Ethan Cloyd

SS·P·C

R

R

11

21

Isaac Coffey

P·1B·OF

R

R

11

7

Frank Gamberdella

C·OF·UT

S

R

11

27

Gavin Haimovitz

OF·P·UT

R

R

11

15

Cole Knightley

OF·P·UT

R

R

10

2

Brandon Lawrence

SS·OF·P

R

R

11

22

Brooks Lee

C·OF·UT

S

R

10

8

Conagher Sands

P·1B·OF

R

R

11

5

Kaden Sheedy

C·1B·OF

R

R

11

16

Isaac Thomas

OF·P·UT

R

R

11

10

Travis Welker

2B·UT·P

R

R

11

 

The Titans began the season with the goal of making it to the Elite 32’s in Florida. Therefore, they are scheduled to compete in numerous Super NIT events. The first such event was the So Cal Thanksgiving Super NIT where they accomplished the first part of their goal by winning their berth to Disney Florida.  In addition, they will be playing in the So Cal MLK Super NIT coming up during January 14-16, as well as, the Nor Cal President’s Day Super NIT in February. In addition, they will either compete in the Arizona Triple Crown Spring Championships or the USSSA Spring Super NIT coming up in March.  After that, look for them at the April Nor Cal Super NIT and the May So Cal Super NIT.  In addition, they expect to compete in a 12U Spring League sanctioned by AABC wherein the winner will qualify for the AABC Regional Events.  Their goal is to have at least 20 league games and still plan on playing in as many USSSA and Triple Crown events as possible.  In addition to the Elite 32, they have also already qualified for the Triple Crown World Series in Steamboat.

 

All together, these Titans will be taking on a very rigorous schedule as their 2012 season unfolds. They anticipate playing in approximately 80-90 games this year where they will be playing in mostly 11U major tournaments and also in 12U local league division action. Clearly, they are off to a very solid start. If they can stay on this pace, look for this team to be consistently counted among the top ranks of teams in 2012.

 

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