Viera/Suntree Little League All-Stars are off and running


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Jack Malatino delivers a pitch during a recent practice for the Viera/Suntree Little League All-Stars 9-10 Gold team. Viera is hosting the 9-10 district tournament at Viera Regional Park.

photo by Carl Kotala

It promises to be another banner year for the Viera/Suntree Little League All-Stars.

The teams were picked in mid-June and began playing their district tournaments toward the end of the month, with some tournaments stretching into early July.

Last season saw the VSLL win four district championships, with the Juniors baseball team going on to win the state title and coming within one more victory of advancing to the World Series.

“We think we’ve got a very strong (group) this year and as a first-year president, I’m just extremely excited,” said John Glendinning. “All of the managers this year were selected earlier in the process so that they could go out and scout the talent and be more educated when it came to picking the All-Stars.”

Beginning last August, Glendinning and VSLL player agent Ken O’Neill worked on revamping the way the league picked its All-Stars.

They picked a team of managers to re-evaluate the process, then vetted it through their current board and an external board. The idea was to make the whole process more transparent for the public, and for the league as a whole.

For example, they scrapped the one-day tryout for the All-Stars in order to give kids a chance to impress coaches more with their body of work.

Voting was done among the collective group of All-Star coaches, which created the opportunity to discuss why some votes were made.

“We think the process is much more consistent, it’s more communicative,” Glendinning said. “We had a parent meeting for the first time in (our league’s) history where parents could come and quiz us and ask us how the team is selected.

“The process is not perfect, but we think it’s very good.”

This year’s VSLL All-Stars will feature 9-10 and 11-12 softball teams along with two 9-10 baseball teams (green and gold) along with 10-11, 12, Juniors, Seniors and a Big League team that will only play for a district title.

See a complete list of this year’s Viera/Suntree Little League All-Stars here and to keep up with them throughout the season, go to the VieraSports Blog