The Warwick Little League North 12-year-old All-Star team got off to a strong start last week when its cruised past Westerly, 6-2.
North is poised for another deep run in the annual summer tournament, and coach Josh Soulliere feels that the team’s experience playing with one another, as well as other big-game experience, will pay dividends as is squares off against some of the other top Little Leaguers in the state.
“The kids played really well, we also left a lot of runners on base so we may have been able to finish even better. They played very well. Most of them have been playing together on travel teams or All-Star teams since they were 8 years old. A few of them moved up to play with the 12’s last year and now they’re back. They know each other very well,” said Soulliere.
North is once again part of District 3, which boasts some of the top teams in all of New England. North advanced to the Little League World Series in Williamsport in 2016, and Coventry made the trip last season. Being able to compete with some of the big bats in the district will be key, according to Soulliere.
“With us, it’s going to be about defense. You look at those other teams, the Coventry’s, the Chariho’s, they have some really strong guys that are going to put it over the fence. Our strength will be our defense, we have some good hitters, but we don’t have any of those 6-footers,” said Soulliere.
North will take on the winner of the Warwick Continental American and South Kingstown game that was played on Monday evening. The results were not available at press time.
“It’s going to be really tough, there are a lot of great teams (in District 3), Coventry, Chariho, South Kingstown, they’re all really good,” said Soulliere. “We played them last season, so we know what we’re in for.”
Members of this year’s 12-year-old team include: Carter Robbins, Jacob Soulliere, Aidan Forcier, Owen Carter, Dylan Vale, Henry Kearns, AJ Banspach, Tyler Nadeau, Matt Wellington, Derek Asciolla, Gianni Fontenault, Andy Hatch, Richie Cavanagh. Coaches include Josh Soulliere, Bob Vale and Jaime Banspach.