Upper Deck Cougars Reshape Northern Travel Baseball With Incredible Season
ROMEOVILLE, IL – The Upper Deck Cougars left a lasting impression on the travel baseball community this past season, doing something most northern teams do not do often against southern and western teams, win.
Based just 45 minute outside of Chicago, the Upper Deck Cougars are a program that have been around for a while and have seen some great success, but it was only recently when they added younger age groups and that move certainly has seemed to pay off. Their current 13U team is in just it’s second year together, and they may have had the most impressive season of any Upper Deck Cougars team yet.
The Cougars fell just short of 100 wins, going 99-13-2 with 12 tournament victories. For a time, they looked nearly unbeatable, losing only three games between September of 2011 and May of 2012, all of those games to the No. 1 ranked Georgia Bandits.
One of the Bandits’ assistants had nothing but high praise for the Cougars, stating that they were as dangerous as any team out there, despite not having the luxury of playing year round, and they gave the Bandits all they could handle on more than one occasion.
Their journey took them to eight different states, and during their time on the road, the Cougars endured quite a grueling schedule. During a stretch that began the first weekend in May, the Cougars played in five NIT tournaments (3 Super NIT’s) over a six-week span. That didn’t’ seem to wear on the boys too much though, as they went 23-3 during that time.
Their season ended with a 4-3 showing at the Elite 32 and a third-place finish at the Travel Ball Select World Series. Despite falling short of the title in both, the Cougars played admirably, and left a lasting impression on teams from the south. Their program has certainly broken the mold, and should be a name that is recognized in the travel ball circles for years to come.