It's time for some All-Star baseball and the Turlock National 11-year-old squad is ready to battle in the District 73 tournament for the chance at a title and their head coach has all the confidence that they will be a tough competitor.
“We should be competitive in any game,” said head coach Brian Weatherbee. “We have good enough players, if we put the pieces together right, we should have a threat every time up to bat. Should have consistent fielding all the time and good pitching. I don't think we can beat ourselves, if we are going to lose, a team will have to beat us.”
Weatherbee, who is coaching an All-Star team for the third year, is managing the 11s for his second time after managing the 12s last year and is looking forward to this opportunity.
“The biggest difference is at this age we are trying to teach them consistency,” said Weatherbee. “It helps that things are different in tournament play and I think we have the pitching and everything else to overcome that.”
The Nationals will have the luxury of choosing between Lucas Williams, Luke Adams, Josh Weatherbee, Wil McGee and Brian Teague for the pitching rotation.
Coach Weatherbee said that all his pitchers can throw strikes.
“We have some good players,” he said. “And we have pitchers who can throw strikes and allow our defense to play behind them.”
In order to do so, the Nationals will have to dig deep and perhaps look at some of their underrated power including Allyson Cameron, who really showed off her ability during the year.
Cameron went on to blast five homers for the season and will be looking to go for the fences in the upcoming District tournament.
“We have a pretty deep team right now,” said Weatherbee. “We have kids here who have put the ball over the fence. I don't think we have a prodigious power hitter on our team but we have kids who can get it out of here, including Allyson.”
The team is also expected to be strong at the shortstop position, as well as second and center field.
“I try to be strong up the middle and we have players that can play multiple positions and now as coaches we need to put the puzzle together to give us the best chance to compete,” said Weatherbee.
Look for Deuce Parker to assist at shortstop and the rest of the team includes Myron Perez, Harrison Day, Jeff Naranjo Jr., Mateo Bravo, James Galvan and Reyes Garza.
“We are still trying to mesh them into a team. We have a few players who have played infield, but not as many with outfield experience so we will see how we get our best team out on the field,” said Weatherbee. “Still trying to figure that out.”
The first matchup for the American team will be against the National team at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Soderquist Field.