The Wilshire Warriors have come a long way in the past couple of years, finishing ninth overall in a recent tournament held in Cooperstown, N.Y., home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Warriors, made up of the best players from Wilshire Sports Assoc. baseball teams, started in 2010 as a 10 and under travel team. They lost their first game 23-0. Later that season, coach David Adams was introduced to Ryne Tacker, who played baseball in college and with the Oakland A’s minor league team. Before long, Tacker was on board, and the Warriors began to improve.
The thing about baseball, said coach Adams, is that it prepares you for life. “It teaches you how to work together as a team, strive for successes and recover from failure.”
As news of the team spread throughout the neighborhood, additional teams were added for boys ages six to 10. And by spring of this year, seven teams competed in weekly travel games as well as a recreational league that played at Pan Pacific Park.
At the Cooperstown tournament, which was sponsored in part by Chocoholics in Larchmont Village, “the boys played better than they ever had,” said Adams. After losing their first game, the team came back strong and defeated the Fort Wayne Cubs, with Avery Plum pitching the entire game and starting a four-game winning streak. In the end, the Warriors were defeated by the Milwaukee Angels.
It was a great end to two years of hard work for the team, especially the five original players who have been with Warriors from the beginning, said Adams.
In addition to Plum, team members include Tiger Adams, Isaac Rose, Ethan Fabricant, Jake Gannon, Eric Johnson, Austin Lee, Finn Starzek, Nick Silk, Jack Lipman, Hiram Smith, Alex Terry and Jacob Martinez. “These players are all individual stars and great players in their own right,” said Steven Johnson, assistant coach.
“When they first started playing together, they got destroyed by the competition because they were playing as nine individual stars,” he added. “But after nearly 200 games, they realized that the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. When they let go of their individual ambitions, they started to win.”
The team recently elected new offers, including Jeff Rake, president; John Wells, vice president; and Chad Saul, secretary. Aliza Lesser remains as treasurer.
Anyone interested in participating in the Warrior program should contact Rake at email@example.com