Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Road to Williamsport: Early Teams to Watch - 2014




Well it’s mid-July and time to start introducing you to teams you could POTENTIALLY see in your respective Little League regionals or even South Williamsport. Last year, we had a pretty solid track record. Let’s see what happens with this year’s version of Little League Insider’s Early Teams to Watch.

Check it out after the jump:



New England

There’s hasn’t been a ton of noise from New England yet. Most of the teams who have done well as 10s and 11s are out already. Some didn’t even win their districts. Connecticut and Rhode Island have been the strongest states recently and Connecticut-power Fairfield American did some serious work in the district tournament. They’ll have some tough competition in their Section 1 tournament, especially from Norwalk and Simsbury.

Rhode Island looks like a veritable who’s who of Little League programs with Cranston Western, Portsmouth, Coventry, and either Cumberland or Lincoln going through.

Goffstown New Hampshire won the state as 10-year olds and is the state finals. South Burlington, VT could be back. They are also potentially very young. Massachusetts almost never sends its best team because of scheduling, but Holden could be a team to watch.

Mid-Atlantic

Keeping the theme of the New England region, the teams who have had success as 10s and 11s have faltered a bit in the Mid-Atlantic. New York’s most impressive looking team based on how they’ve played and who they’ve beaten could be Throgs Neck from the Bronx. Look out for Grand Island, Colonie, and Wappinger as well.

New Jersey is always one of the toughest states to emerge from because its so deep. The best team doesn’t always make it. So far, Toms River and Morristown National have looked very strong. Toms River has a threatening lineup and Morristown National has a shutdown ace.

Pennsylvania has been the land of home runs. Red Land from Western PA has run roughshod over all of its opponents. They’re big and strong and have hit nearly 40 home runs in 8 games. Taney from Philadelphia is a recent Little League charter and they came in specifically to make a run at the Little League World Series. It’s worked for them so far. They look like a team that fans can rally around, especially one of their pitchers, Mo’Ne Davis.

Delaware has Newark National, the defending Mid-Atlantic champions and Maryland has two teams left in its winners bracket including Elkton Community. Elkton isn’t a traditional state power, but this team is led by some serious home run power and has put up 50 runs in a game this year including 11 home runs. The Ross boys lead the charge.

Southeast

The defending region champions, South Nashville TN, crushed former region champions, Goodlettsville, in the 12s after Goodlettsville won the state title as 11-year olds. North Springs, Florida has to get through one of the tougher tournament formats in the country, but they’re the regional champs as 10-year olds AND 11-year olds. Myers Park Trinity, NC has been way up recently and should challenge for a North Carolina and regional title as well.

Southwest

Texas West is down to its final four teams and all of them have rolled over everyone with ease. Based on things I’ve heard, Northside Suburban from San Antonio has the goods to make a deep run, but it’s a strong state final four without a doubt. On the Texas East side, it’s more of the same. Lamar National has had a lot of success as 10s and 11s. They should win their “if” game to reach the Texas East final four and they’re my team to watch.

Bossier, Louisiana and South Lake Charles, Louisiana should battle for the state title there. Bossier is the defending state champs (at 12s) as a two-charter league. Now? They’re one charter. Could be a big year for them. The league is also huge… Should still be two charters, but I digress.

Great Lakes

New Albany, Indiana has a tough district to get through, but they’ve had a ton of state success over the last two years since they were 10. Midland Northeast from Michigan is the favorite up there, and Hamilton West Side, Ohio is the region’s most successful league. They obliterated everyone to their 769th straight district championship. Only a slight exaggeration.

Midwest

There are zero contacts in the Midwest whatsoever. Sorry folks. We need some contributors!

Northwest


Washington is always a solid bet to make a run once they get to the Northwest regional and this year, Federal Way is the favorite. For starters, Washington District 10 is the best district in the state easily… Secondly, Federal Way won the state title as 10-year olds. Currently, they’re in the winners bracket semifinals of the state tournament.

Oregon’s power lies in District 4 and it’s Cedar Mill this year. Normally, Murrayhill or Lake Oswego come from this district, but Cedar Mill has been improving over the last decade and it started coming together with multiple titles including the state championship as 11-year olds last year. They survived the tough district. Now, it’s onto states. Watch for Bend North as well.

West

Southern California probably has 10 teams that could challenge for a United States championship each year. It’s quite a gauntlet. This year, it seems like the bats are out in full effect. Encino is the de facto favorite because of their state title last year, but there’s been some impressive squads including Sweetwater Valley, Ocean View, et al. A blast from the past, Long Beach, is also in the mix.


Do you know of any other teams that have legitimate state title and Williamsport dreams? Let us know on any of our social media sites. The best place for discussion is always our discussion group (because that makes sense).

We just joined instagram so please follow us and tag us in pictures. We’d love to be able to get some photos for the blog too. You can always email them to Section1GuyCom@aol.com.


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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Red Land is South Central PA and has hit 42 HR's in 8 games including 3 Grand Slams

Israel Rodriguez said...

Woodridge Moonache may be a force to be reckoned with out of section 2. Their deep lineup reminds me of that Toms River National team of 2010. They don't have a shut down ace though...

Anonymous said...

Big Guy , no respect for Sherman Park ? Went far as 10 and 11 year olds, lots of arms great coach

Anonymous said...

Heard Sherman Park lost two and are done...

Anonymous said...

Canyon Lake from So. Cal averaged 16 runs per game during sectionals. They are brutal to pitchers and 225' fenses won't hold then in.

Anonymous said...

Red land is eastern pa. Lewisbury. south of harrisburg. holy crap look at a map

Anonymous said...

It's Lewisberry not Lewisbury. And it is in South Central PA not eastern PA.

Unknown said...

Florida District 2 ends with a controversial decision to let a cheating team advance to Sectional Tournament. The 12 yr olds from Eau Gallie Little League (EGLL) used an illegal bat to score the winning 2 runs. West Melbourne (WMLL) appealed and the Southeastern officials ruled the bat illegal but let the win stand. Penalty? The EGLL coach and the player have to sit out the next game. How's that a fair ruling? WMLL abided by the rules and is out, EGLL cheats and is in.

Anonymous said...

Red Land lost today to Collier 13-4. Looked like they have been relying on big hits and not developing the defense. Might count against them when their big guns don't hit.

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