The closing ceremonies for the P-Town Little League were on Thursday evening, providing a time to celebrate the league champions and hand out awards and also reflect on the season.
All in all, P-Town Little League president Lou Banuelos said the season was a great one.
“It was a really good season, we had a really strong showing,” Banuelos said. “We had a lot of participation and a lot of new managers. A lot of managers that had played through the league and are now pushing their kids through the league, which is making for stronger baseball in Pahrump. We have put our name on the map now. We are playing against Las Vegas.”
Banuelos said three divisions play Las Vegas teams.
“Our Major Division, Minor Division and our juniors play Las Vegas teams,” he said. “I think we did pretty well against them.”
Short on T-ball players
“We were short in the T-ball Division, and I blame it on the economy,” Banuelos said. “I think no one was having kids. But the league has remained strong. We have a lot of strong coaches and strong board members. Of course, we had a lot of trials and tribulations and I think we get more lip service in baseball than any other sport. It is because this is America’s sport and everyone knows baseball or they think they know baseball. It is what it is. I pushed my boys through the program and now I am pushing my grandkids through it.”
The P-Town league celebrated the ups and downs of the season.
The minor league team champion was the A’s, which finished the regular season at 19-0, according to the parents. The Minor Division is made up of players ages 7-11. The team was coached by Sam Mendoza.
The Major Division, which is made up of kids from ages 11-12, also had a champion, the Red Sox, coached by Hank Maglia. This team was the third-seeded team going into the playoffs and then won all their playoff games to steal away the championship from the first-seeded Diamondbacks.
“Our season wasn’t spectacular,” Maglia said. “We finished as the third-seeded team in the division, but then we went on to win all our playoff games in the double-elimination tournament to win the championship.”
In the Rookie Division, ages 6-7, they don’t have a playoff.
“This is a machine-pitched league,” Lou Banuelos, league president said. “They are getting ready for the minors and that division had eight teams.
Finally, the juniors are made up of ages 13-14. “They finished third and fourth in their respective division,” Banuelos said. “They were in a division of seven teams and didn’t qualify for the playoffs. Our Mariners missed it by one game.”
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P-Town Little League gives up participation trophies
According to Lou Banuelos, the president of the league, the league had been giving out the trophies since 2006.
“It was a wise decision,” Lou Banuelos, president of P-Town Little League said. “It was a board decision and we said ‘that’s enough of that.’ I remember an article I think said, ‘Why did I work my butt off and we all get the same trophy.’ We almost did it last year and this year we said that’s enough. And we voted on it.”
After the ceremony, about 20 parents from the lower divisions complained that their kids didn’t get a trophy.
“One lady said it was a rip-off,” Banuelos said. “About 20 people came up from the younger kid divisions.”
The first-place teams received rings this year, second place received medals. The younger kids all got baseball bats and a Little League pin.
“The bats were great, better than the trophy,” the league president said. “It was a toy. It’s not a rip-off. I knew we would get some backlash. We knew as a board we would get flack.”
Coaches from the younger divisions agreed with the board decision.
“The trophy should be so that the team remembers the year of winning, the year of beating teams,” Armando Veloz, a coach from the lower division said. “Instead of, ‘Here you go, here’s a trophy’.”