Roosevelt Little Leaguers ready for playoffs

Bryant Million: PNT Staff Writer

The Roosevelt County Little League all-star baseball teams have been drafted and players and coaches are currently preparing for the upcoming district playoffs in July.
Cynthia Martinez, secretary of the Little League Board, said the all-star teams will be facing teams from the American and Zia Leagues of Clovis as well as teams from Quay County.

The kids make the all-star teams by participating in the tryouts at the end of the regular season. Coaches observe the kids and draft the players they think are most fit to make a true all-star team.

There will be four all-star teams that are divided in ranks by age of 9-10, 10-11, 11-12 and 13-14. Each team has a chance of going to state if they win the district games. However, the 13-14 team has not been drafted yet because they are still playing their regular season.

“These kids are out here (practicing) from five to seven days a week, three hours a day. Both the players and coaches have to be committed completely,” Martinez said.
Burtin Smith, the manager of the 10-11 all-star team, said that if the teams do make it to state, they will need support from the community in order to pay for the costs of food and gas to go to the games.

Martinez said the state all-star games will be held in Carlsbad for the 9-10 team, Albuquerque for the 10-11 team and Alamogordo for the 11-12 team.

“If a team does go to state we will try to have car washes and bake sales to raise funding,” Martinez said. “And we would appreciate any help from local businesses and the community not only by donating, but also by coming out and watching the games.”

The 9-10 all-star team this year will be managed by Sammy Villanueva and coached by Alan Roberts. The players include Eli Tapia, Daniel Hernandez, Jarrett Faust, Nathan Salaz, Pete Stone, Lane Carrasco, Isaiah Alvarado, Alex Villanueva, Matthew Martinez, Payton Casey, Anthony Villanueva and Sam Roberts.

Roberts said the team is looking good this year. “They are working very hard and have good attitudes. I think they have a really good shot at making state.”

The 10-11 all-star team will be managed by Burtin Smith and coached by Johnny Montiel this year. The players include Reyes Calbert, Zach Blaeser, Ryan Schmidt, Jacob Aranda, Reyes Chavez, River Fine, Stephen Duarte, Daniel Zapata, Anthony Ortiz, Alonzo Carrillo, Chris Yager, Nate Chavez, Jason Tapia and Kevin Yager.

“The team has a lot of potential,” Smith said. “I’m really impressed with the progress they’ve made and how well they have been coached. So watch out!”

The 11-12 all-star team will be managed by Donny Martinez and coached by Albert Acosta this year. The players include Jesus Acosta, Brandon Aguirre, Kyle Bonem, Colton Gruis, J’Kobie Lee, Lathan Lieb, Larkin Lindsey, Raymond Martinez, Will Murdock, Louis Ortiz, David Rodriguez and Phoenix Russell.

“These kids a really talented,” Donny said. “I think they can go all the way with the right effort. I think they could definitely be a future high school team if they all stick with it!”
“We would just like more support from the community. All this out here is for the kids,” Montiel said.

Montiel said there might also be an extended league for the minors (9-10 year-olds). It just depends on how the all-star teams do in the playoffs and in the state games because those tournaments will go all throughout July, Montiel said. The extended leagues will mostly be the same teams and players, depending on whether the coach wishes to continue.