The tournament, which will be held in Arizona from Dec. 27 through Jan. 3, will host more than 200 teams competing in 10 different divisions and age groups, and is one of the most competitive tournaments in the country.
The Maniacs, who are currently third in the Super Series 18 and under division point race, head into the competition red-hot. The team held its opposition to just four runs in four games while scoring 29 runs of their own in a tournament held recently in Sacramento, getting quality pitching performances from Ty Gagnon, Drew Gagnon, Chris Short, Brandon Petrangelo and Richie Gallob.
The Maniacs only send 11 or 12 players to each tournament, guaranteeing that each player will see as much game action as possible, and that everybody has to contribute.
"We keep the number of players down so that everybody gets the chance to play," said manager Don Jamerson. "One key element to our team is that people are able to play multiple positions. We have a very versatile group of kids."
Position players Zack Yoder, Jarod Jamerson, Matthias Buhlis, Jordan Hallog, Chad Combs, Dustin Wold, Ramon Madina and Tony Perez each make key contributions to the team's success, and the experience promises to help them excel when the varsity baseball season rolls back around and beyond.
"Giving the kids an opportunity to play top competition will prepare them for next season. The more they play, the better they'll get and the more their confidence level will increase," Jamerson said. "Most of the players on this team want to play college ball, and that would be very gratifying to see. There are a lot of Division 1 prospects on this team."
Jamerson and his coaching staff, Dave Perez, Chris Short Sr., and Mike Petrangelo, have also had the opportunity to give their players a taste of what's to come at the next level, scrimmaging against Los Medanos College as often as they can.
"One of the things we want to do is expose them to what will happen after high school," Jamerson explained. "Los Medanos' coach Brian Azevedos talks to them about college and what to expect at that level. It's great exposure for the kids. It lets them know that junior college and four-year programs are viable options for them and really motivates them to get their grades up and do what it takes to play at that level."
The team is currently in the process of fundraising for its trip to Arizona to compete in the Super Series and welcomes sponsors. Anybody interested in sponsorship, please call Jamerson at 550-2064, or Perez at 783-2510.