NYBC Bids on the Line at Baseball Youth Winter Championships
By Nathan Clinkenbeard
The road to New York and the National Youth Baseball Championships goes through Newberry, Florida and Champions Park this weekend as teams compete in the Baseball Youth Winter Championships. This event is the second NYBC qualifier for the main event at Baseball Heaven this summer as well as a qualifier for the Baseball Youth National Championships in Indiana.
The Baseball Youth Winter Championships is a Triple Points weekend for teams playing in the Baseball Youth Florida State Championships. All champions receive bids to the NYBC as well as the BYNC, and the 12U runner-up also receives a bids to the BYNC. The BYNC is the last chance qualifier for the NYBC in New York.
“Champions Park in Newberry is not only one of Florida’s premier parks, but it’s one of the nations best parks,” Baseball Youth tournament director Ryan Sizemore said. “Modeled after Cooperstown Dreams Park, this place has undergone some renovation to allow a friendlier viewing area for spectators. It is also a perfect location to host such an important event as this as it boasts 16 fields that are all turf infields. Not having to deal with cold weather and rain outs, it was a no-brainer for us to bring the Baseball Youth Winter Championships to Champions Park.”
The 12U division is the one to watch with 15 teams competing, and there are heavyweights from Florida, Georgia and North Carolina ready to put it all on the line for a trip to the NYBC.
“The 12U division is loaded with talent and several teams could be in contention to win the NYBC Bid,” Sizemore said. “Strike Force from Tampa comes in as the heavy favorite for this event, but don’t look past the EvoShield Canes, Florida Redhawks, Atlanta Angels and West Florida Thunder.”
In 10U, the Miami Phenoms, the current No. 2 ranked team in the country, will be in town looking to secure an NYBC berth and a showdown in New York with the current No. 1 team in the country, the Sandcrabs.
Teams will enjoy a skills competition on Friday evening, and the Baseball Youth National Tryouts will take place on Saturday. All ages are welcome, and players have a chance to be selected for the Baseball Youth All-American Games, Baseball Youth Elite Teams, and 12U players have a unique opportunity to be selected to represent their region in the Baseball Youth All-Star Challenge on CBS Sports Network.
Sizemore said the buzz is at a high level with what’s at stake at the Winter Championships.
“Teams are very excited to be one of the first teams to earn their NYBC bid,” Sizemore said. “They’ve seen who’s qualified in Texas, and they’re now ready for their shot. Not only are the 12U teams excited about the bids, but since the NYBC expanded to all ages this year, the younger and older teams are ready to show off their skills and be a part of travel ball’s ultimate championships.”