Union County News

State Little League Champs in Elizabeth Need Help Getting to Regionals

e13678d815e7feb5541a_Josiah_Sharpe_and_Coach_Lou_Aponte.jpg
Josiah Sharpe, of the Elmora Youth League Troopers, gives a high five to Coach Lou Aponte. Credits: Courtesy of Jennifer Schultz
ea0b1176b14c8f18a080_Sal_from_his_knees.jpg
Sal Garcia, above, of the Elmora Youth League Troopers, is one of 13 boys on the team slated to play in the Eastern Regional Baseball Tournament on Aug. 4. Credits: Courtesy of Jennifer Schultz
505be531a1e51e66f843_Team_from_the_front.jpg
The Elmora Youth League 10U Troopers became state champions on July 31 and are slated to play in the Eastern Regional Baseball Tournament on Friday. Credits: Courtesy of Jennifer Schultz
194fa3ce23b3442146ba_team_from_the_back.jpg
The Elmora Youth League 10U Troopers became state champions on July 31 and are slated to play in the Eastern Regional Baseball Tournament on Friday. Credits: Courtesy of Jennifer Schultz
75d68258687231ae87c6_Jayden_Rosado.jpg
Jayden Rosado, of the Elmora Youth League, is one of 13 boys on the team slated to play in the Eastern Regional Baseball Tournament on Aug. 4. Credits: Courtesy of Jennifer Schultz
65935db5c4c5f7a8d850_Sal_Garcia.jpg
Sal Garcia, above, of the Elmora Youth League, is one of 13 boys on the team slated to play in the Eastern Regional Baseball Tournament on Aug. 4. Credits: Courtesy of Jennifer Schultz
e94e2d9581afa49391da_Justin_Labrador.jpg
Justin Labrador, above, of the Elmora Youth League Troopers, is one of 13 boys on the team slated to play in the Eastern Regional Baseball Tournament on Aug. 4. Credits: Courtesy of Jennifer Schultz
e13678d815e7feb5541a_Josiah_Sharpe_and_Coach_Lou_Aponte.jpg

ELIZABETH, NJ -  The Elmora Youth League Troopers baseball team overcame several obstacles in their rise to undefeated state champions this season, but now they face another hurdle: raising enough funds to help them get to regionals.

“Obviously, we hoped to get this far, but we never expected it and a week of hotel stays,” said  Vanessa Cangas Garcia, whose 10-year-old son, Sal Garcia, pitches for the team. “These parents -- were’ just making it.”

This is the first state championship win for the team in the league's nearly 44-year history, Garcia said. The thirteen boys, who are all either 9 or 10 years old, will head to Cranston, RI on Friday to face four teams in the Eastern Regional Baseball Tournament.

Sign Up for E-News

A Gofundme campaign was created by one of the team’s coaches, Patty Aponte, to raise funds for travel expenses, meals and lodging. A fundraising pep rally will also be held at Hanratty Field on Westfield Avenue for the boys tomorrow from 8 to 10 p.m.

The Troopers sealed the deal as state champions July 31 in a 5-1 win against Waterford Township, according to the league's website. In Rhode Island, the Troopers will face New York on Saturday, Maryland on Sunday, Pennsylvania on Tuesday and Delaware next Wednesday.

The two teams with the most wins in their bracket will compete for the New England Championship on Aug. 11. The winning New England team will face off against the Mid-Atlantic regional champions on Aug. 12.

The Elmora Youth Little Troopers jumped up in excitement after Sal Garcia, 10, threw out the final pitch that won the team the state championship on July 31 against Waterford Township. (Video courtesy of Gail Weingardner Delgado)

The Troopers are led by two other coaches, Louis Aponte and Alfonso Rey. Coach Louis Aponte did not return a voicemail that was left for him tonight, but he told the boys to “dig deeper” for regionals in a pep talk that was posted on the league’s Facebook page earlier this evening.

"Guys, we've got to raise the level of focus and we've gotta get ready to go,” Coach Louis Aponte told the team in the video. “Because now, we're going to face teams that -- guess what -- are pretty much going to be like you. They're all state champions. But now we're going to find out who can play the best fundamental baseball.”

He also reminded the boys to have fun and “play our hearts out.”

Garcia, the parent of one of the boys on the team, said the experience of working together on a baseball team has taught the boys “discipline” and “dedication.”

“It’s just such an amazing accomplishment,” Garcia said. “It just shows that that anything they put their minds to, they can accomplish.”

For more information about the team, follow them on Facebook. Below is a full roster of the Troopers:

Derek Escobar #2; Emmanual Nunez #3; Jayden Capindica #8; Jayden Rosado #42; Jordan Rey #12; Josiah Sharpe #7; Justin Labrador #27; LJ Aponte #11; Noah Sosa #13; Sal Garcia #1; Santi Alvarez #6; Yadi Mateo #28; Jaime Tamayo #20

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Cranford

Three School Buses Involved in Crash at Clark's ALJ High School

June 21, 2018

CLARK, NJ — Three buses collided in the Arthur L. Johnson High School parking lot around noon on Thursday in a chain-reaction crash. 

Students were on board at the time, according to Police Chief Pedro Matos. One driver and two students had minor injuries, Matos said.   

According to a Honeywell alert issued by the Clark Public School District, ...

2018 Cranford High School Graduation

June 22, 2018

CRANFORD - It was a beautiful day as the members of the Cranford High School Class of 2018 took their places on Memorial Field for the Graduation Ceremony on Thursday night. 

Class President Anna Kalafatis, Principal Mark Cantagallo, Superintendent Dr. Scott Rubin, Board of Education President Kurt Petschow, Jr., Salutatorian Emily Wilson, and Valedictorian Meg Cui each ...

Cranford High Senior Prom

CRANFORD - Cranford High School held its Senior Prom on Friday at the Birchwood Manor in Whippany. Check out the photos our readers submitted. 

Spring Art Show Displays Students' Creativity

CRANFORD - The Cranford High School Spring Art Show was held at the Cranford Public Library, on Tuesday. 

From 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., artwork from classes such as crafts, graphic design, photography, and drawing was on display for the public to promote the creative and unique projects done by students throughout the school year. 

Sports Betting Is Off And Running in New Jersey

June 14, 2018

OCEANPORT, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy officially ushered in sports betting in New Jersey when he made the initial wager at Monmouth Park  on June 14.

Governor Murphy, an avid soccer fan who has called ESPN’s “Sportscenter” his favorite show, placed the first bet  — $20 on Germany to win the World Cup. He also bet $20 on the N.J. Devils to ...

Are Your Employees Driving Distracted?

June 22, 2018

Multi-tasking is a myth.  The human brain cannot actually perform two functions at the same time.

Instead, it switches from one task to other very quickly. Even though the change may only take milliseconds, it takes the brain time to come up to speed on the new task.

What does this have to do with driving? It's simple. Trying to do more than one thing while behind the wheel of an ...

Healthy U Spring Symposium Marks 10 Years of Community Impact

WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 100 Healthy U champions and partners from YMCAs and schools from all over the state gathered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on May 18 to celebrate 10 years of community impact. Healthy U was also formally presented with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health. 

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is the ...

Summer Water Safety Tips

Summer is a great time for parents to ensure their children are equipped with essential water safety skills. The Westfield Area YMCA offers weekly swim lessons all summer long and in Monday-Thursday weekly sessions.

Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 5-14. Remember these tips to ensure the water is an enjoyable and safe place to ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...