The Pine Island All-stars traveled to Sanibel's Babe Ruth League to win a two-game tournament, bringing home the traveling Tarpon Bay Cup.
"This was our third year competing in the Duel of the Islands Tournament, and I was happy to bring the cup back home this year," said Wendy Mills, president of Pine Island Little League. "I'm so proud of our players. Every one of them worked hard and kept a good attitude. "
The Pine Island majors team was managed by Eddie Mills with help from coach Phil Picanso, and team mom Karlee Reed-Guadarrama. The team consisted of Dakota Darna, David Bollen, Jayden Pfister, John Burbage, Kelby Lynn Kolaz, Kaleb Hein, Ethan Alvarez, Joey Gay, Robbie Gay and Zack Mills.
The Pine Island Majors All-Star team included Manager Eddie Mills, Coach Phil Picanso, team mom Karlee Reed-Guadarrama and players Dakota Darna, David Bollen, Jayden Pfister, John Burbage, Kelby Lynn Kolaz, Kaleb Hein, Ethan Alvarez, Joey Gay, Robbie Gay and Zack Mills; and the machine-pitch Minors featured Manager Joe Jamison, Coaches Brian Frock and Robin Ramming, and players Matthew Bollen, Jacob Bollen, Gavin Mills, Elizabeth Ramming, Tracy Daniels, Cameron Frock, Kelan Jamison, Evan Alvarez, Richard Overbaugh and Kaden Meyers.
Darna pitched the first game, and Bollen and Pfister pitched the second game. Pine Island won the first game in a fourth inning rally, and dominated the second game to sweep the majors division.
The Pine Island machine-pitch Minors team was managed by Joe Jamison, with assistance from coaches Brian Frock and Robin Ramming. The players were Matthew Bollen, Jacob Bollen, Gavin Mills, Elizabeth Ramming, Tracy Daniels, Cameron Frock, Kelan Jamison, Evan Alvarez, Richard Overbaugh and Kaden Meyers. The team handily won both of its games.
American Legion Post 136 sponsored both of Pine Island's All-star teams.
"We are so lucky to have the enormous community support for our league. If not for the generosity of the civic organizations and businesses that sponsor teams and banners, we wouldn't be able to have a league," said Mills.
The Pine Island Little League is a non-profit athletic organization that relies on registration fees, team sponsors and donations from the community to pay for the day-to-day operation of the only organized sports organization for children on Pine Island. The league held its inaugural season in 1981 and many of the parents in the stands played on the ball field as children. This year Pine Island Little League had over 70 children on the roster, with seven teams spread between three divisions. The league chose an Allstars Minor and Majors team to compete in the tournament.
"This is my last year as president of the league, and it was a wonderful way to go out," said Mills.