The West Boynton Travel Baseball program had several teams recently win championships in their respective divisions during the spring season in the South Florida Travel Baseball League.
The West Boynton Travel Cobras 9U White had a memorable spring by completing an undefeated season in the South Florida Travel Baseball League and winning the Majors Division Championship. The WBT Cobras 9U White finished 15-0 in league play, which included 13 wins in the regular season and two playoff victories. West Boynton defeated Margate Legacy 3-0 during the 9U Majors Division title game at Lantana Sports Complex on May 18.
The WBT Cobras 9U White team includes Kellan Bernier, Sebastian Ameller, Jake Ginder, Tyler O’Dell, Madden Katcher, Cam Kuhlmeier, Cameron Ballard, Mason Fricke and Paxton Hodge. Landon Moody was a prominent guest player and he stepped up in clutch situations. The team is coached by Dixon Llorens, who previously played in professional baseball organizations with the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels. He is joined by assistant coaches Nick Fricke and Craig Kuhlmeier. Jared Katcher runs the team as the general manager.
“This is the first team I have been a part of where every family contributes positively to the overall baseball experience,” Katcher said. “It’s truly a drama-free family atmosphere. Every athlete contributes equally to the success of the team. Stats are not emphasized as only a collective effort of the players has led to the success of the 2020/2021 9U season. We have a balanced combination of speed, power, athleticism, flexibility and a specific element of coming in clutch.”
The WBT Cobras 9U White team had a 22-6 overall record during the spring. The team participated in two tournaments, which included a third-place finish in the USSSA Spring Showdown.
The WBT Cobras 9U White squad will return nine starters next season, which, according to Katcher, can be a rarity in youth baseball. They will participate in several upcoming tournaments over the next two months and will transition to the 10U Division in August.
“The future is bright for this team and there is little doubt they will have an epic upcoming season,” Katcher said.
The WBT Cobras 8U Blue team enjoyed success and captured the South Florida Travel Baseball League Minors Division Championship. They defeated Margate Legacy 11-6 during their final coach-pitch game to win the title.
The WBT Cobras 8U Blue squad, under the direction of Jasen Pellegrino, finished 18-6 during the spring. The team emphasized player development by participating in several training sessions and were able to move away from coach-pitch to prepare for the next level. The players were able to gain experience by participating in several kid-pitch games during the second half of the season.
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The group of players showed their dedication by training in Davie on multiple weekends each month with Felipe Suarez, a former pitcher and coach in the Angels organization. He was a standout pitcher at Nova Southeastern University and also previously coached at the college. He had several other coaching stints, including with USA Baseball, Broward College and Florida International University.
“We have amazing kids who give maximum effort and they really get along and it’s a close group off the field,” said Pellegrino, a former baseball coach at Western High School in Davie. “The training has been a great experience for our whole team. They have learned really good habits starting out at their age and it will really help with their development. The parents are awesome and really support our team. It was super cool for the kids to win rings for the first time.”
In the championship game, second baseman Anthony Pellegrino made one of the top plays of the season in the field. He fully extended and made a diving stop while flipping the ball from his stomach to get the force out. The game-changing play occurred with two outs in a close contest and stranded a runner in scoring position. The momentum shifted and the Cobras were able to pull away for the victory.
The WBT Cobras 8U Blue team consists of Dominic Fortnash, Lennox Graham, Myles Jefferson, Ari Kolton, Ryan Mocarski, Landon Morkert, Anthony Pellegrino, Jakhari Shannon, Luke Whelpley, Cameron Whitaker and Blake Zaremby.
They will enter the 9U Division next season after participating in an eight-team summer league, which consists of kid-pitch contests with other South Florida squads.
The WBT Cobras 11U Blue has been one of the elite squads on the diamond and it also won the spring championship during May. The team, which earned first place during the Groundhog Day Tournament in the spring, consists of Braden Alexander, Gabriel Coupet, Trey Fountain, Cade Kuhlmeier, Max Maynes, Beckett Noll, Raeder Ortega, Julen Phan, Gavin Rankine and Trey Weihs. The head coach is Dax Rankine and assistant coach is Chris Alexander.