Lower Montco names All-league teams
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.”
Upper Moreland’s Andy Noga steps to the plate with a pitch during Pen-Del League action last week.