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Austintown 8U All Stars are triple champions for 2018

August 1, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

The Austintown 8U All Stars ended their season on a very high note. They competed in and won three separate tournaments to claim a triple championship for 2018.

"The boys won the Hermitage 8u tournament finishing 4-0, the Austintown Terry James, Sr. Memorial tournament finishing 4-0, and the Boardman End of Season Classic tournament finishing 5-1," said Team Manager Ron Anzevino. "Those games gave them a record of 15-4 with three tournament championships."

The Allstar team was made up of Dominic Anzevino, Aeden Balderson, Jason Corll, Evan Diefenderfer, Landan Gerchak, Gunner Jack, Evan Kessler, C.J Matulek, Jackson Oles, Karter Oyster, Landon Snyder, and Bryce Stovall. Of the 12 total kids, six were on the "B" All Star team last season and one was on the "A" All Star team. Coaches include Eric Diefenderfer, Shon Kessler, Scott Tucker, and Nick Demain.

Article Photos

Photo Special to the Town Crier
The Austintown Baseball Club 8U All Stars ended their season with a triple championship. Pictured at the Hermitage Tournament after a big win are team members, in front: Gunner Jack, Landon Snyder, Karter Oyster, Dominic Anzevino, and Bryce Stovall. In second row kneeling: coaches Scott Tucker and Shon Kessler. In third row: Coach Nick DeMain, LJ Gerchak, Jason Corll, CJ Matulek, Jackson Oles, Aeden Balderson, Evan Kessler, Evan Diefenderfer, Coach Eric Diefenderfer, and manager Ron Anzevino.

The regular season for the boys started in late April and continued thru mid June. The first All Star tournament was in late June and the team only had one week of practices before their first tournament.

When asked how the boys came together to be successful, Anzevino said, "Just like any other sport, or any activity for that matter, success begins with preparation. We didn't have much time to prepare, so practice sessions were designed to maximize efficiency. All of the assistant coaches, along with myself, had specific roles to perform in practices and games to make sure performance was maximized. Along the way, we tried to teach the kids proper mechanics and structure, but equally important is making sure the kids are having fun along the way. All of the coaches agreed early on that the kids performed much better without added pressure. We told the kids from the start if they gave us 100 percent effort, we didn't care if they won or lost, we would be proud of them either way."

He said the other important lesson the coaches tried to teach was that no one single player was more important than the next. Being humble and playing as a team was the only way to be successful. Anzevino even came up with the motto of "Give 100 percent effort, play as a team, and have fun," as a way to remind the boys of the team goals.

"The boys even had a little motivation in Hermitage to spark our tournament winning streak, water balloons," Anzevino said. "Coaches got pelted with water balloons as long as they kept winning."

As for the coaches, they got to watch this powerhouse team emerge into the All Stars they are.

"The best part of the season was watching them grow together and play as a team," said Coach Eric Diefenderfer. "Our team only lost to Poland and Mill Creek early in the season but avenged both losses when it mattered. Our boys knocked off Poland twice in order to win the Terry James, Sr. tournament and Mill Creek in the semis at Boardman. By the last tournament they were all in sync. They trusted each other on the field and made double plays from third (base) to first back to third and even made plays at the plate."

In the end, all the adult staff was impressed with how this team came together and played together. They did everything the coaches asked of them and as a result, had a lad of fun.

"They are the ones on the field performing, sometimes double and triple headers, and did so with all their heart," Anzevino said. "This was a remarkable group of kids and deserve full credit for their accomplishments. They went 15-4 playing against the best All Star teams in eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. They won championships in Hermitage, Austintown, and Boardman. The coaches, parents, and fans are just glad we were there for the ride."

Of the 12 boys on the team, nine will be moving up to the next age group of 9-10u kid pitch, and three will be back in 8U next year.



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