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Dolphins Scores In Game Two Of Tournament

 

 

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Feature Story:  March 28, 2019

 
 

Dober Bulldogs

Defeats Larsen Dolphins

for 2019 Title

 
 

Yadiel Segura was brilliant on the pitcher's mound on Saturday, as he threw a no-hitter to lead the Leonard Dober Bulldogs past the Pearl B. Larsen Dolphins 11-1.

The Bulldogs opened up scoring in the first inning when Dolphin’s pitcher Jackson Chavez's wild pitch allowed two runs to score.

The Bulldogs went on to score five runs in the second inning behind the solid hitting of Yadhiel Moya, Fabricio Ozuna, and Jeffrey Mota whom each had RBIs, putting the Bulldogs in a comfortable lead.

Yadiel pitched the Bulldogs to victory with zero hits allowed, but one run over five innings before the mercy rule brought the game to a close. By games end, the 5th grader had managed to strike out 11 Dolphins.

Jackson took the loss for the Pearl B. Larsen Dolphins. He lasted three and two-thirds innings, allowing five hits and nine runs while striking out eight.

The Bulldogs hit one in-the-park home run on the day. Jeffrey had a dinger in the second inning.

The Bulldogs tallied six hits on the day, Jeffrey and Yadhiel each racked two hits to lead Leonard Dober Bulldogs. Yadhiel led Leonard Dober Bulldogs with two stolen bases, as they ran wild on the base paths with seven stolen bases.

Catcher, Keshawn Callwood, was named the MVP of the tournament. We spoke briefly with the young star of the Bulldogs after the game.

 
 

Keshawn Callwood, Jr.

You were voted the MVP of the tournament, how do you feel? I feel good.

Why do you think you won that award? Because I had fun, tried my best and played fair.

How long have you been playing? I've been playing ball for five years. I play with the Dodgers.

What positions do you play? I play first base, shortstop and catcher.

I heard that you brought your own catcher’s gear to play in this tournament. Why? Because I know I was going to catch and I just like my gear.

You have never faced this team before, were you scared? No.

What was the key to today’s win? The key to this win was the strength of my team. We were a stronger team.

What will you tell your fellow students at school when you get back? We won! I feel good because our team now have two big trophies.

 

 

 

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Topaz Newton was voted MVP of Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School boy’s baseball team by members of the media, opposing team captains, officials, spectators, and fans.

Topaz is one of three female players currently on the elementary baseball team, a star player on the girl’s softball and volleyball team. After the game, she stopped and spoke about her experience.

 
 

Topaz Newton

So, you were voted the MVP of the Paul B. Larsen Boy’s Baseball team, as a girl, why do you think this happened and how do you feel about it? I don't know. I know how to play both softball and baseball, displays good sportsmanship on the field and I help others while on the field, so I guess it feels okay that I am the MVP knowing I did what it took.

You really didn't seem scared out there at all, what was the secret? I play softball Paul B. Larsen girls softball team.

How did you end up on the boy's baseball team? My sister played on the boy’s baseball Little League team and she told me that I have to play, so I played because she wanted me to play.

You also was the only player on your team to have a hit against the Bulldogs yesterday, tell me how did that feel. It was just a good feeling to hit the ball and to encourage others to try harder at batting the ball as well. But it wasn't really a big thing because I'm accustomed to hitting well whenever I play.

Are you the best girl player on the girl’s softball team too? I guess so.

I asked you earlier, “to name your favorite baseball player,” and you did not that named a female softball player; why was that? I didn’t because I don't have a favorite female softball player.

How psyched were you and the guys about St. Thomas team coming over to St. Croix to play against your team? We were really psyched. We were excited to come and play because we practiced and got ready to play them. We did say, “them guys look sharp, but we didn't care about it.” As a team, we weren't scared but some players were, and I encouraged them to do the best.

So, next time you're going to be ready for this team? Yes, but no, because I am in the 6th grade, I will be in another school.

So, tell me about the whole experience of having St. Thomas coming over to play against St. Croix. I think it was a great experience. Sometimes we switch and go over to St. Thomas, so it doesn't matter if they come or we go, it's just about whoever plays the hardest or better.

 

 

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Kiba Martin and assistants, Terron Francis and Lecia Schneider coached the Bulldogs on to becoming St. Thomas champs in January and traveled to St. Croix to take on the Dolphins for the territorial title.

Martin spoke with us after their win.

 
 

Kiba Martin

Mr. Kiba Martin a.k.a. Son Son, can we get a little background on you? I started playing baseball when I was nine years old at Alvin McBean East Little League with the St. Thomas Cardinals. After that, I have been playing baseball all my life. I went on to play baseball in college at North-Central Missouri then came back to St. Thomas in 2006 where I played Senior league baseball with the Marlins and AA baseball with Woodstock and Diamondbacks. In 2011, I started coaching in the LaLeche league with the team called the Little Bits, then was asked to move up to the Little League as the coach of the Jackspanyas. Today, I coach a Little League team called, The Prospects.

How did you end up coaching the school team? My daughter attends the school, so Principal Bully knew I coach and asked me to take over the team. She told me I was the right person for the job.

Are you saying that when your daughter graduates the school loses a coach? No, I have more daughters attending the school, so I'll still be right here coaching.

Why was this team so efficient? Right now, these players are playing baseball year-round on St. Thomas. A lot of these kids are rated in the top 20 on St. Thomas, and at least eight of them are playing Little League baseball, so that is why things are so easy right now. These boys—you don't have to tell them to come to the park. You are going to the park and meeting them there. Right now, these kids are going to school with their baseball gear and going from the school to the park to practice. Straight up.

Tell me about this trip to St. Croix. When I learned about the opportunity, I told the team at practice, and everybody was really excited and happy, so every day they would ask me “when are we leaving.” I told them that we had to wait until all the pieces came together and I let them know once the dates were finally given to me. Even though it collided with the opening of the Little League season in St. Thomas, we were coming to play and just had to let the coaches for the students in the league know that their player would be traveling and needed to be excused, because school comes first.

What was the key to winning? Our team was just dominant in every way— pitching, batting, running and stealing the bases.

Friday's game, any thoughts? Yesterday our pitcher, Jeffrey Segura, was dominant from the jump, so their coach said to me, “our team was afraid to bat against your pitcher.”

After playing against the St. Croix team for two days, what is your perception of how baseball is in St. Croix, today?Right now, it looks as if St. Croix isn't playing any baseball at all. I don't know if it's because of hurricane Maria or what, but right now in St. Thomas we're playing baseball year-round, so you have to be ready for us right now. Every coach and their team are active right now on St. Thomas.

Your team’s MVP, Keshawn Callwood, tell me about him. Keshawn Callwood, right now, just made ten years old and is ranked the number two player in the 9 to 10-year-old level on St. Thomas. Keshawn is really tough. When he found out that he was catching, Keshawn told me that he was traveling with his personal gear. All he wanted to do was catch this weekend.

I know Principal Bully traveled with the team, but she isn't here at the game today because of her Sabbath; but if she were here, what other dimensions would she add to this team? Well, she's a no-nonsense principal at her job, but when she comes around, and the students see her, their momentum goes sky high because of the kind of love they have for her, and she has for them, even when she enters their classroom.

 

 

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Jeremy Newton the coach of Pearl B. Larsen elementary schoolspoke with us after the game.

 
 

Jeremy Newton

Mr. Newton, tell me a little bit about yourself. My name is Jeremy Newton. I’ve been working at the Pearl B. Larsen elementary school for the past 25 years, and I am currently the supervisor for the kitchen. I started playing baseball from the time I was six years old. Have an older brother who played professional baseball named Geronimo Newton, so I know the game some. I am here trying a little thing because of my baseball background, and I hope to make an impact with these kids.

What did you think about St. Thomas coming over to Croix to play ball? Yeah man, I like this 'yah. We need to have more of this going on because right now we are losing a lot of baseball kids over 'yah on St. Croix to basketball. As you can see the attendance in the stands is lacking, and the majority of the parents in the stands are from St. Thomas. It’s a shame; really is a shame. St. Thomas had the stronger team on the field today as we can see.

Where did you think you lost this game? Well, pitching. Our pitchers over 'yah like to pitch mostly fast and are afraid to throw breaking balls. And, as you can see, these guys were a much better team than we were and they played like an All-Star team.

What do you hope to work on with this team going forward? Right now, the Little League season is starting, so most of these kids are playing in the league, but on different teams, so hopefully, they will become better at the game.

You have a young lady on the team by the name Topaz Newton. Yes, she is my daughter. Oh okay, tell me about her. I have been working with her from age five. She's a multiple sports athlete who really likes the game. She plays softball, baseball, volleyball and is good, as you saw today.

Where did she learn to hit like that? I can't say she learned from me, but I have two other daughters who played the sport already, and she looks up to them. One thing about her is whatever mistakes they've made in the past; she tries not to make them.

 

 

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Desiree Miranda from St. Croix Interscholastic Athletic Association came out to cheer on the Dolphins and Bulldogs and applauded all involved for making the championship games happen. Her list included to the Virgin Islands Department of Education, Director, William Cofiell and Bunny Tomeau of Sports and Athletics, Zahar O’Reilly and Richie of Sports, Park, and Recreation, sponsors and supporter.

Here is some of what she said.

 
 

Desiree Miranda

Tell me a little bit about you, Ms. Desiree Miranda. I’ve been the president by default of the St. Croix Interscholastic Athletic Association, for over eight years. I am also coach volleyball at the St. Croix Educational Complex; I'm also a History teacher at the school. I'm about to retire after 30 years. Our goal is to do more interscholastic sports activities at the elementary level like baseball, basketball, volleyball, and softball especially because we don't allow the kids to travel as much at the elementary level.

What will your report to Mrs. Zahra O’Reilly say? I'll tell her that the St. Croix team lost, but they had a good time, and it’s good to see. I just love to see when the elementary kids are doing something.

Is the state of baseball on the islands as good as it once was back in the days? No, it's not, but we are trying. What we are trying to do this year is join elementary softball girls with the Little League, so if you are a part of the school team, we are also bringing you into Little League so that they can get more playing time. Kids are now playing on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, so it should be better when St. Thomas returns. Also, people like Renee Hansen, Rael Sackey, Zarah O’Reilly and Bates from Bate’s Trucking are pushing baseball a lot on St. Croix now and they are trying to bring it back by encouraging the schools to enter their into the little league by sponsoring uniforms and all the pieces of equipment for them. This year, we had a meeting with the elementary school principals and it was an excellent meeting but we only had four or five schools, so hopefully next year we will have more schools in the league. We will do the same for basketball also. Ultimately, the goal is to have Little League baseball all-year-round like St. Thomas.

 

 

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Never a stranger to Virgin Islands activities, three-term senator, Kurt Vialet, stopped by to cheer on the youngsters. Within that time, he offered words of congratulations, encouragement, and suggestions to Director Cofiell.

Here is some of what they discussed.

 
 

Senator Kurt Vialet

It’s nice to see you out at the game, Senator Vialet, what you think? I'm always a big supporter of sports, but more excited there is a tournament between St. Thomas and St. Croix. The game wasn't as competitive as I'd hoped. I think that the St. Croix team needed quite a bit more practice. I was made to understand that they only had a couple of practices before this tournament but overall I'm just glad that the Department of Education, Mr. Cofiell, and Ms. Tomeau was able to make it all happen.

I spoke to them both about making sure that we continue to have these types of interisland competitions because it allows the children to move to a different level. For example, Pearl B. Larsen’s team may be good and undefeated in St. Croix but when it goes up against St. Thomas, it's a different story, but if there were interisland play during the season, by the time the championship came around the event and the games would be even more competitive.

In that same line, I spoke to Mr. Cofiell about the girls' softball league coming up; where we could have one weekend where St. Thomas's teams come to St. Croix and one where St. Croix’s go to St. Thomas before the championship. I think; competition is good but with your sister island, it's even better.

What about a bigger budget for sports? Well, we have already given Sports, Parks and Recreation a substantial increase in the budget to the tune of $1 million that was supposed to be air-marked for sports alone. This was money coming from the hotel occupancy tax of which they have received a portion of.

I was telling the individuals before you, that a lot of issues relative to the parks and relative to the development of sports are not brought directly to us (Senators) or they don't come to us with an estimated cost, so we can’t then go ahead locating money or a funding source for needed product or repairs. So, with this information, we hurt our chances to make things better.

As you know we are in a quasi-mood with FEMA with what they are going to put back into the park, but it is now reaching more than two years and we need to bring our sports facilities back online and at the very least we have to make sure that all of our facilities are lit. Sports is a big thing here and teaching sports allows children to be able to elevate to a different level both in the classroom and on the field for scholarships.

Any message for our little student/athletes? Continue! Continue to hone your skills as much as possible. When we were smaller we used to play these games in our backyards, so put down the electronic toys and pick up your bat and your basketball and if you do that you're going to be better.

So, congratulations to all who played today. Congratulations to the girls. I saw a number of girls on the field so congrats to them.

 

 

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