|2009 11U BBC Patriots|
by BBC Patriots Reporter
With an arsenal of eight pitchers, a rock-solid defense and an offense that scored nearly 10 runs per game in 2008, the 11U BBC Patriots are ready for the 2009 campaign to begin. And that campaign will be waged in tournaments across North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
The Patriots, an 11U team based in Graham, N.C., first formed in 2006. Today, the team includes veteran players Tanner Breedlove, Tyler Bryant, Hunter Curtis, Vance Deese, Easton Jones, Matt Miller, Ty Miller and Bryse Wilson. New to the Patriots this year are Ryan Caveness and Fisher Ford who bring a lot of experience in their own right.
As 10-year-olds, the Patriots won four 10U tournaments, one 11U tournament and one 12U tournament. The Patriots made it to the championship game in seven of the 12 tournaments in which they played in 2008. The Patriots were 4-3 against TBS-ranked teams.
In their 56 tournament games during the year, the Patriots scored an average of 9.5 runs per game while giving up only 3. Notable victories include three wins against the Carolina Mustangs and a win against Beaver Valley Red, both TBS honorable-mention teams, and a win against the Cedar Hill Red Rangers during their top-four run at the Triple Crown Nationals in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Coach Jay Curtis said part of the team's strategy last year was to play against older teams late in the season, and the Patriots did just that in three 12U tournaments and three 11U tournaments. "We gained a lot of experience in those tournaments, and that experience has helped our players advance in their development," Curtis said. "As soon as our winter workouts began, you could see a vast improvement in the players' confidence and their skill levels compared to last year."
Curtis points to the 2008 Triple Crown Nationals as a key moment for the Patriots. "Our play in the Triple Crown Nationals really gave us a boost last summer," he said. "We were able to defeat a Cedar Hill Red Rangers team that was really on a roll at that time, and we gave the tournament runner-up, the Knoxville Stars, a good game," he said. "That experience carried us right into a successful Fall schedule."
Looking ahead, the Patriots' 2009 tournament schedule will be their most ambitious to date. Curtis believes the team is ready for the challenge. "We have a group of kids who are focused on becoming better baseball players," he said. "And that's the essential ingredient in every successful baseball program."
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 February 2009 03:03|