Names: Westchester Frozen Ropes – Avalanche Baseball Team
Age: 10 and under
School: throughout Westchester County with majority of players from Cortlandt Manor.
Accomplishment: Despite the loss of a beloved teammate earlier this year, the team won the Triple Crown Memorial Day Baseball Tournament in Newburgh with a come from behind 6-run sixth inning to win 9-8.
Key to Awesomeness:
A group of nine-year-old boys should not have to play any sport in memory of a lost buddy. But to the Frozen Ropes, their impressive 14-6 season is in honor of their captain Steven Espinosa, who died last month after a year-long fight with leukemia.
Assistant Coach Eric Johansen said that Steven, coach Ron Espinosa's son, used baseball as a motivation to fight his disease. Last year Steven came back to the field from the hospital and pitched a no-hitter, helping the team win its first regional tournament, Johansen said.
"Steven was a true leader."
The team continues to play with the same determination they saw in their captain. Despite the tough few months, they have won 11 of their last 12 games, with a record of 14-6.
This weekend the team is competing in the New York Elite Playoffs. And in July they are headed to Myrtle Beach for a national competition. “We expect to bring home some hardware,” Johansen said.
Johansen said that the coaches stress academics and citizenship to all the players on the team. He is proud of how they have handled the challenges of this season.