Other NJ News

10U Little League Troopers From Elizabeth Become Mid-Atlantic Baseball Champs

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
b86fc4b0eeb1e2f094f2_Derek_s_homerun_celebration.JPG
The Elmora Youth Little League 10U Troopers celebrate Derek Escobar's home run. 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
b58300b64a0bd9d7c676_CHAMPS__1_.JPG
The Elmora Youth Little League 10U Troopers from Elizabeth became Mid-Atlantic champions in Rhode Island on Friday. 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
7fa6bf52fdd7e2ee2817_Josiah_Sharpe_Makes_the_play_in_Right_Field.JPG
Josiah Sharpe, of the Elmora Youth Little League 10U Troopers, makes a play in right field. 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
3b8442da8d77da883779_Coach_Lou_Aponte_gets_the_water_dumped_on_him.JPG
Elmora Youth Little League 10U Troopers Coach Lou Aponte gets the water dumped on him. Credits: Courtesy of Jennifer Schultz
bda86aa458a1222666e9_Derek_Escobar_sends_a_2_run_homerun_over_the_fence.JPG
Derek Escobar, of the Elmora Youth League 10U Troopers, sends a two-run homerun over the fence. 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
3255266ca81eef8bdff3_Yadriel_Mateo_-_Starting_pitcher.JPG
Starting pitcher Yadriel Mateo throws out a pitch. 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
fd37056f93d3d780bc17_The_celebration.JPG
The Elmora Youth Little League 10U Troopers celebrate after a win in Rhode Island. Credits: Courtesy of Jennifer Schultz
3c3a41d95b874be4cdaa_Sunset_on_the_champs.JPG
The sun sets on the Elmora Youth Little League 10U Troopers. Credits: Courtesy of Jennifer Schultz
dd741fbb38576906ae80_Sal_Garcia_on_the_mound.JPG
Sal Garcia winds up on the mound. Credits: Courtesy of Jennifer Schultz
d500508a98e568da5205_Sal_Garcia_comes_in_to_close_it_out.JPG
Sal Garcia stands at the mound. Credits: Courtesy of Jennifer Schultz
e7961b339036da3e098e_LJ_Aponte_behind_the_plate.JPG
LJ Aponte gears up behind the plate. Credits: Courtesy of Jennifer Schultz
382b7566435f5e1b7d34_LJ_Aponte_putting_the_bat_on_the_ball.JPG
LJ Aponte stands up at bat. Credits: Courtesy of Jennifer Schultz
e13678d815e7feb5541a_Josiah_Sharpe_and_Coach_Lou_Aponte.jpg

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Elmora Youth Little League Troopers made team history Friday when they became Mid-Atlantic Regional champions, but fell short in gaining the top tournament title.

MORE: State Little League Champs in Elizabeth Need Help Getting to Regionals

The team’s wins come after an outpouring of financial and moral support which helped get them to the 9-10 Little League Eastern Regional Baseball Tournament in Rhode Island. A Gofundme campaign raised over $13,000 to help pay for the team’s travel expenses.

Sign Up for E-News

“It was a week of baseball for a lifetime of memories, and those kids got exactly that,” said one of the team’s coaches, Lou Aponte, making a reference to the tournament’s motto.

The Troopers won three games against New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania to secure their spot as Mid-Atlantic champs. They lost 9-4 on Saturday in the final push to become Eastern Regional champions when they went up against Massachusetts, the winning regional team for New England.

“They were bummed out because they didn’t play their best game,” Aponte said. “But it was like hey listen, that would’ve been icing on the cake. Our mission was to win the Mid-Atlantic.”

The loss doesn’t detract from the team’s stellar track record. The 10U Troopers were undefeated in their rise to state champions in late July, a first for the team in the league’s nearly 45-year history. 

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 feeling was just overwhelming,” Aponte said of the Troopers' Mid-Atlantic win. “Like you made it. I’m just kind of in awe of this team and what they’ve done. They kept winning.”

Aponte said people in Elizabeth traveled all the way to Rhode Island to cheer and support the team with banners. Word of the Troopers' success spread to former Elizabeth residents now living in Florida who decided to donate to the Gofundme campaign.

The 13 boys who play on the team are all 9 or 10-years-old, and Aponte has coached some of them since they were 5-years old and playing t-ball, he said. He plans to continue to coach and stay with the same team as they age.

Aponte, who coached the Troopers with two others, said he thinks the team could next year make it to the Little League World Series, which is open to players aged 10.

“We have our eyes on the prize,” Aponte said, adding that he thinks they can make it all the way to the final Little League World Series game in South Williamsport, Pa. one day.

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

TAPintoElizabeth.net is Elizabeth’s free daily news source. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @TAPElizabeth.

Download the TAPinto App!  Click here for Android.  Click here for iOS.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Milltown/Spotswood

Rutgers Takes Over Police Dispatch Services

June 22, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University will provide the city’s police dispatching services in a move that New Brunswick says will cut costs and put an end to dispatcher shortages that resulted in officers doing the job.

The city’s 12 current dispatchers will be laid off at the end of the day on June 30, and Rutgers will supply dispatchers as of July 1 under an agreement that city ...

Thousands Expected in Hillsborough for Sourland Music Festival

June 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – The Sourland Music Festival will be held Saturday, June 23 from 3-10 p.m. at the Hillsborough Golf & Country Club at 146 Wertsville Road, rain or shine, to benefit the Sourland Conservancy.

Discounted advance-sale tickets are available online only, Children under 12 are admitted free.

“We’ve got a really powerful lineup of the region’s most ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, July 14, 10:00 AM

Maplewood Memorial Library, Maplewood

Bag-of-Books Sale - Friends of Maplewood Library

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

Middlesex County: Free Music, Fireworks and Fun in “A Revolutionary Celebration”

June 22, 2018

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ -  Want your 4th of July fun to last 7 days? Then bring your family and join in Middlesex County’s “Revolutionary Celebration” for 2018! Our Office of Arts and History has planned events for June 30 and July 1-7 that are fun, educational, and a great way to honor the spirit of Independence Day. Explore Highland Park, New ...

More than the Fourth of July, Make it a Star Spangled Week in the Long Beach Island Region of NJ

June 22, 2018

STAFFORD AND LONG BEACH ISLAND - Summer 2018 starts now, so time to enjoy the beauty of the Jersey Shore. As families and friends gather for the summer holiday, there is plenty of options to assist in rounding out July 4 vacation and getaways.

With July 4 falling on a Wednesday, there are many events surrounding the holiday.

The award winning Surf and Sip Brew Trail itinerary is available ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

'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 ...