Lower Montco names All-league teams

Glenside News - - OPINION - By Mike Prince

This past Lower Montco Amer­i­can Le­gion Base­ball sea­son fea­tured more par­ity than in re­cent years. Fort Wash­ing­ton, Roslyn and Hunt­ing­don Val­ley all comSHWHG IRU fiUVW SODFH Ln wKDW some of the coaches called the best sea­son the league has seen in years.

And while only one team – Fort Wash­ing­ton – was able to come out as the cham­pion, play­ers from throughout the league were all hon­ored when the Lower Montco All-League team was named just over two weeks ago.

Jake Yan­nessa, who was named as the league MVP Ln KLV fiUVW DnG RnOy VHDVRn wLWK 9DOOHy, HDUnHG fiUVWteam pitcher hon­ors, along with Jesse Kohler (Fort Wash­ing­tonF and Chris­tian Salem (RoslynF. Val­ley was well-rep­re­sented on the All-League team, as catcher -DNH 0DGnLFN, fiUVW EDVHPDn CKULV 5uKO, RuW­fiHOGHU 0DWW Mey­ers and des­ig­nated hit­ter Robert Hoffman were all nDPHG WR WKH fiUVW WHDP.

Yan­nessa also earned sec­ond team hon­ors at the short­stop po­si­tion, as were KLV WHDPPDWHV, RuW­fiHOGHU Cal Palmer and pitcher Matt Lawlor. Sec­ond base­man Rafael Fer­nan­dez, third base­man and pitcher Paul Buck­ley and pitch­ers Dan John­son and Ross doo­d­man were all named as honor­able men­tions.

“With­out those guys, we cer­tainly wouldn’t have been as suc­cess­ful as we were,” said Val­ley coach Evan Horn, whose team won more games than it has in 20 years. “When you’re talk­ing about hav­ing that many All/HDJuH fiUVW WHDPHUV, WKDW’V a ma­jor rea­son why we won 15 games. And con­sid­er­ing that Hunt­ing­don Val­ley was a door­mat for a lot of years, it just shows that the hard work that these kids put in for years lead­ing up to the le­gion sea­son paid off. It shows that all the ded­i­ca­tion from the par­ents paid off.”

9DOOHy finLVKHG Ln WKLUG place in the league, los­ing to 5RVOyn Ln WKH VHPLfinDOV.

Fort Wash­ing­ton, coached by dary Boni­tat­i­bus, won its fourth con­sec­u­tive ti­tle thanks in large part to Jesse .RKOHU, wKR HDUnHG fiUVW WHDP KRnRUV DV D fiUVW EDVH­man and a pitcher.

“I thought it was a great sea­son,” Boni­tat­i­bus said. “-HVVH JHWWLnJ ERWK fiUVW EDVH and pitch­ing hon­ors was well-de­served and they all had very good sea­sons and I’m happy to see the guys re­warded for that.”

Sec­ond base­man Luke Pol­lock, short­stop Luke Fe­OLx DnG RuW­fiHOGHU 0Dx 9LGR DOO PDGH WKH fiUVW WHDP wKLOH part of the den­er­als.

“It’s go­ing to be a big loss los­ing Jesse, Luke and Max, all of whom have been very im­por­tant for the last 2-3 years,” Boni­tat­i­bus said. “All three of them were Al­lOHDJuH fiUVW WHDP ODVW yHDU and this year and when you miss that kind of cal­iber of play­ers, it’s not easy to re­place. Hope­fully some of these younger guys will step up and be able to do that next year.”

The Fort saw third base­man Dan Brown and pitcher Doug Bauer both earn sec­ond team hon­ors, while out­fiHOGHUV -DUHG ZDUwLn DnG Ryan Coon­a­han and pitchHUV DDn -DFREVRn DnG ZDFK Walsh all earned honor­able men­tions.

As for the re­main­der of

the hon­orees, the All-ieague first team Ln­cluded first base­man MLke -anas (More­landers), thLrd base­man KevLn Long (Hor­sham), out­fielder Robert Knox (More­landers), pLtcher ChrLstLan Salem (Roslyn) and utLlLty man VLn­cent Case (Southamp­ton).

RoundLng out the sec­ond team were sec­ond base­men Pat StLll­mun (Cedar­brook) and Kyle ,rwLn (More­landers), out­field­ers Bran­don DLBona (Southamp­ton) and Matt Donnelly (Southamp­ton), pLtcher Kyle Walder (More­landers), desLg­nated hLt­ter An­drew DLVa­len­tLno (Cedar­brook) and utLlLty man Ryan Kel­ley (Hor­sham).

As for the honor­able men­tLons, catcher Pat DrLs­coll (More­landers), thLrd base­men Char­lLe Hooker (More­landers) and Brett Ko­zlowskL (WarmLnster), short­stops -ohn DeAn­gelLs (Cedar­brook) and MLke Wasser­leben (Southamp­ton), ChrLs Hens (Hor­sham) and ErLc RLd­well (Roslyn), out­field­ers KrLs Carr (Roslyn), Ben VLtellL (Hor­sham), Steve WLl­son (Southamp­ton) and Kyle Lockard (More­landers) and pLtch­ers ErLc Walther (Cedar­brook), An­drew DLVa­len­tLno (Cedar­brook), MLke -anas (More­landers), Sean Gal­lagher (Roslyn) and Chuck De­lagol (WarmLnster) rounded out the All-League team.

“, thLnk Lt’s great to see the league recognLze these guys,” BonL­tatLbus saLd. “,t’s cer­taLnly an honor to get first or sec­ond team, but even an honor­able men­tLon means a lot to these guys and shows that all theLr hard work paLd off. To be recognLzed by the other coaches Ln the league Ls nLce and Lt’s nLce for them to know that theLr abLlLty dLd not go un­notLced.”

WLthout -ake Yan­nessa, Hun­tLng­don Val­ley may have not been able to have Lts best sea­son Ln team hLs­tory thLs past sum­mer. But Lt was an­other -ake – -ake Mad­nLck – who has been a vL­tal part of Val­ley’s suc­cess pre­vLous to the 2012 sea­son.

Mad­nLck, who wore No. 8, had hLs num­ber retLred by Coach Evan Horn and Hun­tLng­don Val­ley, and wLll be hon­ored at the begLn­nLng of next sea­son.

At Val­ley’s home field, Lower More­land HLgh School, a ban­ner wLth the num­ber eLght wLll be hung from the fence, hon­orLng the star catcher.

“The num­ber eLght wLll never be worn as long as ,’m Ln­volved wLth Hun­tLng­don Val­ley base­ball,” saLd Val­ley coach Evan Horn, who used to play wLth the team. “He’s been the back­bone of the reemer­gence of Val­ley base­ball and for that rea­son, hLs num­ber Ls retLred. The bLggest honor ,’ve ever had as a coach was havLng an­other coach (-Lm Brett, Roslyn) nomL­natLng one of my play­ers (Yan­nessa) for MVP, but thLs up there wLth that.”

Mad­nLck, who just finLshed hLs fi­nal sea­son wLth Val­ley, wLll have hLs name and num­ber on dLs­play for ev­ery Val­ley home game movLng for­ward.

“,t’s not just about Val­ley base­ball, but the whole league,” Horn saLd. “From what ,’ve gath­ered from other coaches, thLs has been one of the bet­ter sea­sons as far as the league beLng equal. ,t was a great sea­son for Lower Montco base­ball and thLs Ls a great way to show that.”

Mont­gomery Me­dia file photo / SCOTT RO­MAN

Up­per More­land’s Andy Noga steps to the plate with a pitch dur­ing Pen-Del League ac­tion last week.

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