Iower Montco names All-ieague teams

The Ambler Gazette - - OPINION - By Mike Prince

This past iower Montco Amer­i­can ie­gion Base­ball sea­son fea­tured more par­ity than in re­cent years. Fort Wash­ing­ton, Roslyn and Hunt­ing­don sal­ley all com­peted for first place in what 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 iower Montco All-ieague team was named just over two weeks ago.

Jake van­nessa, who was named as the league MsP in his first and only sea­son with sal­ley, earned first­team pitcher hon­ors, along with Jesse hohler (Fort Wash­ing­ton) and Chris­tian Salem (Roslyn). sal­ley was well-rep­re­sented on the All-ieague team, as catcher Jake Mad­nick, first base­man Chris Ruhl, out­fielder Matt Mey­ers and des­ig­nated hit­ter Robert Hoffman were all named to the first team.

van­nessa also earned sec­ond team hon­ors at the short­stop po­si­tion, as were his team­mates, out­fielder Cal Palmer and pitcher Matt iawlor. 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 sal­ley coach Evan Horn, whose team won more games than it has in 20 years. “When you’re talk­ing about hav­ing that many Al­lieague first team­ers, that’s a ma­jor rea­son why we won 15 games. And con­sid­er­ing that Hunt­ing­don sal­ley 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.”

sal­ley fin­ished in third place in the league, los­ing to Roslyn in the semi­fi­nals.

Fort Wash­ing­ton, coached by dary Boni­tat­i­bus, won its fourth con­sec­u­tive ti­tle thanks in large part to Jesse hohler, who earned first team hon­ors as a first base­man and a pitcher.

“I thought it was a great sea­son,” Boni­tat­i­bus said. “Jesse get­ting both first base 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 iuke Pol­lock, short­stop iuke Felix and out­fielder Max sido all made the first team while part of the den­er­als.

“It’s go­ing to be a big loss los­ing Jesse, iuke and Max, all of whom have been very im­por­tant for the last 2-3 years,” Boni­tat­i­bus said. “All three of them were Al­l­league first team last year 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 out­field­ers Jared Zar­win and Ryan Coon­a­han and pitch­ers Dan Ja­cob­son and Zach Walsh all earned honor­able men­tions.

As for the re­main­der of the hon­orees, the All-ieague first team in­cluded first base­man Mike Janas (More­landers), third base­man hevin iong (Hor­sham), out­fielder Robert hnox (More­landers), pitcher Chris­tian Salem (Roslyn) and util­ity man sin­cent Case (Southamp­ton).

Round­ing out the sec­ond team were sec­ond base­men Pat Still­mun (Cedar­brook) and hyle Ir­win (More­landers), out­field­ers Bran­don DiBona (Southamp­ton) and Matt Donnelly (Southamp­ton), pitcher hyle Walder (More­landers), des­ig­nated hit­ter An­drew Disalentino (Cedar­brook) and util­ity man Ryan hel­ley (Hor­sham).

As for the honor­able men­tions, catcher Pat Driscoll (More­landers), third base­men Char­lie Hooker (More­landers) and Brett ho­zlows-

ki (Warmin­ster), short­stops John DeAn­ge­lis (Cedar­brook) and Mike Wasser­leben (Southamp­ton), Chris Hens (Hor­sham) and Eric 5idZell (5oslyn), out­field­ers Kris Carr (Roslyn), Ben Vitelli (Hor­sham), Steve Wil­son (Southamp­ton) and Kyle Lockard (More­landers) and pitch­ers Eric Walther (Cedar­brook), An­drew DiValentino (Cedar­brook), Mike Janas (More­landers), Sean Gal­lagher (Roslyn) and Chuck De­lagol (Warmin­ster) rounded out the Al­l­League team.

“I think it’s great to see the league rec­og­nize these guys,” Boni­tat­i­bus said. “It’s cer­tainly an honor to get first or sec­ond team, but even an honor­able men­tion means a lot to these guys and shows that all their hard work paid off. To be rec­og­nized by the other coaches in the league is nice and it’s nice for them to know that their abil­ity did not go un­no­ticed.”

With­out Jake Yan­nessa, Hunt­ing­don Val­ley may have not been able to have its best sea­son in team his­tory this past sum­mer. But it was an­other Jake – Jake Mad­nick – who has been a vi­tal part of Val­ley’s suc­cess pre­vi­ous to the 2012 sea­son.

Mad­nick, who wore No. 8, had his num­ber re­tired by Coach Evan Horn and Hunt­ing­don Val­ley, and will be hon­ored at the be­gin­ning of next sea­son.

At Val­ley’s home field, Lower More­land High School, a ban­ner with the num­ber eight will be hung from the fence, hon­or­ing the star catcher.

“The num­ber eight will never be worn as long as I’m in­volved with Hunt­ing- don Val­ley base­ball,” said Val­ley coach Evan Horn, who used to play with the team. “He’s been the back­bone of the reemer­gence of Val­ley base­ball and for that rea­son, his num­ber is re­tired. The big­gest honor I’ve ever had as a coach was hav­ing an­other coach (Jim Brett, Roslyn) nom­i­nat­ing one of my play­ers (Yan­nessa) for MVP, but this up there with that.”

Mad­nick, who Must fin­ished his fi­nal sea­son with Val­ley, will have his name and num­ber on dis­play for ev­ery Val­ley home game mov­ing for­ward.

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

Mont­gomery Me­dia / BOB RAINES

Eric Greiner has taken over as Up­per Dublin’s act­ing Ath­letic Di­rec­tor.

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