On May 22nd at 7pm, while players from all four teams gathered at Queen Anne’s to play, and with parents watching from the sidelines, a gang shooting erupted in the park leaving one target and two innocent bystanders on the ground and wounded. Despite this traumatizing event and with some parents pulling their kids from the game as a result, most of the players were back the next week ready to play. The major and minor Queen Anne Allstars (the best players pulled from the 4 teams) went on to compete in the final regional championships. The Major Allstars won the finals 3-2 against Evergreen Park while the Minor’s showed grit and courage in a dramatic final game.
QUEEN ANNE PARKS ALLSTARS FRONT ROW Left to Right: Garland Church, Chris Noriega, Jesse Castro, Jerry del Campo, Justan Marquez, Kevin Garcia MIDDLE ROW: Eric Marin, Julian Cortez, Dru Mitchell, Julian Qintero, Estradas Solouarzano, Rudy Banuelos BACK ROW: Assist. Coach Emilio Marquez, Head Coach Victor Flores, Assist. Coach Sarah Cortez
The Minors started off strong with a 10-0 win against Poinsettia Park. They went on to win the Western District Championship 10-2 against Hollywood Park in the opposing team’s home territory. This sent them to the championship game on July 17th but as they arrived to play they were met with players from Costello Park who were clearly bigger. Despite encouragement from the coaches and reminders that they had what it took to win they found themselves at the bottom of the second inning, 8-1 for the opposing team. This is where the Allstars’ game kicked in. Rather than succumbing to what appeared to be the inevitable and simply phoning in the rest of the game, they rallied and rallied hard. To the excitement of the audience, parents and coaches they began bringing in the scores. They gained another six points raising the score to 8-7 at the bottom of the third. With two strikes and players on second and third base, the batter popped a fly ball to second base ending the game.
Nonetheless, the Allstars, parents and coaches were amazed, proud and excited by the minors extraodinary comeback.
After the game they were awarded their Western District Championship Trophy from the previous win, confirming their talent, courage and will to succeed. Head Coach Victor Flores said, “Our motto all year was ‘ganas’, Spanish for effort/desire. They proved to all that the best team doesn’t always win. We won more than a game on the field; we won at the game of life. They never gave into their fears, which they in fact conquered. To all the families and friends, thank you for your support! We should all be proud of these little ones. They taught me a lot more then I ever did them.”
TNN salutes the Allstars who remind us that it really isn’t whether you win or lose but how you play the game.