Union County 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

Roselle/Roselle Park

Register by June 18 for Summer of Fun Camp in Roselle

June 16, 2018

ROSELLE, NJ - Get your kids ready for best eight weeks of their young lives, as Roselle presents the 2018 version of its summer fun camp for borough youngsters.

Under the direction of Recreation Director Donald Shaw, borough officials have put together eight weeks of fun, from outdoor adventures, to movies, to arts and crafts, to bowling to swimming. There are also visits to a lake and to a ...

Vitale Family to Hold “Alex's Lemonade Stand” Fundraiser

ROSELLE PARK, NJ - The Vitale Family in Roselle Park will be participating in "Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer" this Saturday, June 16. 

The Vitale family has a son Matteo who has pediatric cancer and they want to help raise awareness.

The family will have a lemonade stand in front of there home at 718 Chestnut Street in Roselle Park, to raise ...

Roselle Park Bulk Collection Company Experiencing Significant Delays

ROSELLE PARK, NJ - The Borough of Roselle Park's Bulk Waste Collection contractor is experiencing significant delays at the solid waste transfer station designated by the Union County Utilities Authority. 

Due to these disposal delays, residents should expect delayed pickups today and Friday, as applicable, and potentially through the weekend.

The Borough remains in close ...

Roselle PBA to Host 2nd Annual Free Softball Clinic

ROSELLE, NJ - The Roselle PBA will be hosting their 2nd Annual Free Softball Clinic at Sylvester Land Field for all ages and skill levels.

The clinic will be held on Tuesday, July 10. Youth ages 5 to 11 will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and ages 12 to 18 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

While the event is primarily for girls, boys are also welcome to join in on the fun that will ...

Make Music Roselle Park Lineup Includes Rock Bands, Singer-songwriters, Free Harmonica Lesson

ROSELLE PARK, NJ - The lineup for the first-ever Make Music Roselle Park will include two rock bands, a pair of singer-songwriters, a free beginner harmonica lesson and more.

The event being held on June 21, Make Music Roselle Park is part of Make Music Day, a global music celebration that takes place on the summer solstice each year and brings people of all ages and skill ...

Freeholder Board Announces Launch of Free Farmers’ Market Vouchers for Seniors

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced that the annual Farmers’ Market voucher program for seniors will begin again this summer. Starting on June 25, income-eligible adults age 60 and up can receive a total of $25 in free vouchers to purchase fresh produce at designated Farmers’ Markets throughout Union County.

The total of $25 is provided in $5 ...

Video: Union County Celebrates Pride Month with CommUNITY PRIDE Day Picnic

June 18, 2018

RAHWAY, NJ - Parents, children, friends, and all family members came out on Saturday afternoon to Rahway River Park for the Union County CommUNITY PRIDE Day Picnic.

The family-friendly celebration hosted by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, was a day of fun activities of arts and crafts, family lawn games, inflatable bounce houses, playground fun and more, along with music by the ...

Gov. Murphy still pushing a millionaire's tax, won’t say when he'll sign sports betting, weed bills

June 11, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - With a showdown on the state budget looming just 22 days away, Gov. Phil Murphy today re-emphasized his call for a tax on the state’s wealthiest households while hoping to avoid another shutdown of state government.

“Do I still want a millionaire’s tax? The answer is ‘yes,’ “ Murphy said at a press conference at the John ...

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

June 9, 2018

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by prominent ...

Local at-risk youth celebrate year of achievements at Community Access Unlimited

June 18, 2018

Community Access Unlimited (CAU) last night celebrated the achievements of a number of at-risk youth who are members of the agency's Transitional Opportunities Program (TOP). Each of these youth are within New Jersey's child services system and faced a number of life challenges before coming to CAU and TOP and since then have made significant progress in plotting a brighter future with ...

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.” ...