The two Danvers Little League teams, Danvers American and Danvers National, know a thing or two about what it takes to win the District 15 Williamsport All-Star Tournament.
Having won the District 15 championship the past two years, Danvers National in 2011 and Danvers American last year, both teams are up to the challenge of doing so again.
With an all new roster, except for Tom Mento from last year’s championship team, it’s going to take great pitching, solid defense, quick decision base-running and team chemistry. Of the 13 kids they’re carrying this year three are 11-year-olds that have never played with this group of 12-year-olds in a tournament.
Danvers American first-year manager Michael Holland is convinced that his team is capable of all of those things.
“Our team strengths are having players with high baseball IQs and team chemistry,” noted Holland. “We have kids who work hard and understand what it takes to win.
“We talk about winning every pitch of every inning of every game, one game at a time. All we talk about is winning and what it takes to get it done.”
It doesn’t stop there. A big key for Danvers American to repeat is a complete team effort. Holland isn’t relying on any one player to win them games, instead he will call upon the entire club during the tournament. To kick off the tournament, the boys even decided to look alike with their newly dyed, blonde hair.
Opening night for Danvers American kicks off against a very strong Beverly tomorrow at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester (7:30 p.m.) in the first of four pool play games.
The pitching staff is made up of five players, all of whom are capable of making a quality start. Danvers American isn’t singling out anyone in particular for tomorrow night’s start, but Holland has a good amount of hurlers to choose from.