SPOTLIGHT-Baseball

By: Angelica Grady

The Summerfield Stars baseball team is making sure their name will be remembered. In July, the Summerfield Stars became the 9U AA Champions of the USSSA World Series. And coaches Vaughn “Gooch” Gladwell, Eric Benoy, John Sheridan, Dewey Joyner, David Lorczak and Demetrius Ponder were partially responsible for the Summerfield Stars’ victory.

“This team is a real family and the other coaches are a big part of the success as well,” Gladwell wrote in an email. “Along with amazing ballplayers, we are surrounded by a great group of coaches and parents.”

The Summerfield Stars are a traveling baseball league, and Gladwell said he was drawn to the idea of coaching this kind of team because more players were “moving in that direction.” Although the Stars are experiencing victory now with their first win, it wasn’t an easy journey getting to that point. Back in 2017, the Stars came in fourth in the Pony Baseball tournament, which he said the team took really hard. Since then, Gladwell said the Stars have used new strategies in order to win in future games. Gladwell said the Stars’ perseverance and hard work have allowed them to reap new victories.

Gladwell said he has been coaching baseball for 20 years but started coaching for Summerfield five years ago. Gladwell said, “the magical component” of the Summerfield Stars is each team member’s individual strengths. As for future plans for the Summerfield Stars, Gladwell said that they will be playing six more games this season and they will play during the Winter World Series as well. The state championship and preparation to win the USSSA 2019 in Florida, are both on the to-do list for the coaches and the team. Visit the Stars’ website (www.summerfieldrec.org) for more information and for the game schedule.

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