WESLEY CHAPEL — The WCAA SweeTees All-Stars are, hands down, a force.
In state tournament play, which they won July 13, the team comprised of 5- to 7-year-olds from Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills and Dade City outscored opponents 78-31, including defeating the Lakeland All-Stars 28-6.
“In my opinion, yes (I thought we’d win the state tournament),” said William Teets, one of the team’s four coaches. “I’ve been coaching 17 years and between me and the other coaches, we have vast experience and we knew that was going to make us a force.
“At this level, its a scoring fest, but we taught our players how to make outs and that’s very important at this age.
As WCAA moves on to the inaugural Dixie Softball SweeTees World Series in Bay St. Louis, Miss., from July 25-31, the team and parents must raise $13,000 to cover travel and food costs for players and their families. Teets said he was a bit worried about the costs not being covered, but also hopes for a generous local donor to step in, as well.
Teets, whose youngest daughter, Emily, plays on the team, said no matter what, the team will be able to make the trip, but if the goal isn’t reached, many of the parents would not be able to attend.
“That would make it very difficult on the whole team, then,” he said.
Despite that, Teets does feel the Sweetees’ chances at the World Series are very good.
“When we get there, our odds are 80-20,” Teets said. “I think we can take care of every team, but the only one that worries us is North Carolina. We looked at them and they all look like 12-year-olds.
“But we have faith in our girls and we have confidence in our coaching and those two things should get us far in the World Series.”
Correspondent Mike Camunas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MikeCamunas.