At 12:36 P.M. yesterday afternoon, NTF's Will Blomeier threw the first pitch in the LSFBL's 13B championship game. Almost seven hours later, 14B’s Nunzio Castellano squeezed a fly ball in center field to end the LSFBL’s 14B championship, putting the finishing touches on an absolute incredible championship week for our NTF players. With that final out, NTF clinched its second LSFBL league championship of the day, its fourth league or tournament championship of the day, its sixth league or tournament championship in just the last 8 days of the season, and its twelfth LSFBL championship in the last 5 years.
13B (Gray) started the day off by absolutely hammering Lincolnshire in the LSFBL’s 13B final. Coach Gallo’s squad scored 10 runs in the first inning, and led by three RBI from Carter Vree and Christopher Kirkpatrick, went out to win 14-1 in a 4 inning slaughter. In doing so, they completed a fantastic season, going 24-12-1 overall, and 18-2 to win the LSFBL’s regular season championship. Coach Falk’s 14B squad jumped all over Mundelein early. 14B scored 3 in the 1st, 9 in the 2nd, and 6 in the third to jump way ahead early on its way to the a dominating 19-8 triumph. It was truly a team effort—Chase Cook led the way with 4 RBI, 5 other players knocked in 2 each, and 8 different players scored at least 2 runs each to hand 14B the title.
The day was capped off by tournament victories for both 13A1 and 14A1 for the second straight Sunday. In winning Sunday, 13A1 finished a good season in which it made it to LSFBL’s new AA division finals and won two different weekend tournaments. 14A1 finished with a 35-9 record, tied for the regular season LSFBL AA title, and won three different tournaments. With that, our 14A1 players completed their two full time years in NTF at 61-12, winning the LSFBL’s A division at 13U, its regular season AA division at 14U, and four different tournament championships—truly, one of the best two year performances by any team in the history of the program.
While we celebrate our champions today, to us success is about development much more than wins and losses, and so we would be remiss at not pointing out the successes of our other teams. While competing in the LSFBL this season against every organization’s top team, 13A2 went 25-14-2 this season and played #2 seeded Mundelein to a 3-3 tie until the bottom of the 6th before falling in Sunday’s final, in the process becoming the first NTF team in memory to win the KWBA Bulldog Classic. And 14A2 completed one of the greatest turnarounds in program history, going from a team that won only 5 games in the LSFBL last year all the way to the championship game before falling to #1 seeded Mundelein’s top team this year. When we talk about development, what 14A2 did this year is exactly what we have in mind. Finally, Coach Kopp’s 13B (White) team had a spectacular season, going 15-5 in the league before losing a close battle in the divisional semifinals—a loss Coach Gallo’s team was happy to avenge two days later.
As is always the case, the most indelible memories of the week for those of us who run the program, however, are off the field. The number of kids who turned up to support their friends on other teams on this week was astounding. When we said at the start of the year that this was a community, one in which every single one of our players was equally important to us, we meant it--and all of us who run this program are so happy to see the kids, over and over again, support each other, both on and off the field. To us, that's what community baseball is all about. We hope that we were able provide at some joy and distraction in what has been a long, hard year in the world.
Once again, thanks for the honor of entrusting the development of your kids to us this season. We hope you are as proud of them as we are.
Drew Cardonick, President
New Trier Feeder Baseball