Cay Sox success

Last week marked the end of an eventful trip for some of Cayman’s young baseball players.

The Cayman Islands 11 and Under boys baseball Cay Sox team was the envy of the Homer Athletic Club Baseball tournament in Chicago, Illinois.

Opposing coaches, players and parents came over to greet the team, telling them how glad they were that the squad came to play and how neat it was that boys were able to attend all of the White Sox baseball events.

Thanks to the efforts of Head Coach Stuart Knox, the Cay Sox team, parents and siblings were able to participate in the inaugural father/son, mother/son training camp at U.S. Cellular Field, the home of the Chicago White Sox.

There the team went through a rotation of all of the major baseball skills including hitting, base-running, fielding in the outfield and infield, throwing and even pitching in the bullpen for the White Sox pitchers.

It was every little league player’s dream come true to be playing on the major league field with their name in lights ten feet high on the billboard at the stadium. The afternoon activities at the field also included a tour of the visiting team club house and presentations by some of the training academy managers and coaches.

Their message encouraged the boys to focus on their education as the game of baseball, played at the highest level, is actually more strategic and mental than it is physical.

The following day the Cay Sox team were able to go to the White Sox training academy in the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, where they learned more about what it takes to become a professional athlete and specifically a White Sox baseball player.

Some of the notable happenings include having the opportunity to spend some time in the batting cages followed by some base-running competitions. In addition the youngsters met a professional major league player.

From there the boys also attended a major league baseball game with temperatures reaching an unseasonably cool 57 degrees F in which they saw the Chicago White Sox defeat the Baltimore Orioles 12-8 in a game full of action.

The highlight on the night for the kids was seeing back-to-back home runs by Jim Thome including a grand slam in the bottom of the 6th inning to give him a new personal best of 7 RBIs in one game.

Prior to attending the game, the Cay Sox players and coaches were given a special guided tour of the White Sox clubhouse. The Cayman players met a few of the White Sox athletes and got the inside scoop on life in the major league.

In their tournament, the Cay Sox boys had mixed results with a win and two losses. Player of the game awards went to Zach Scott, Kevin Weber and Pablo Bertran (as selected by the opposition team coaches).

There was great improvement seen in all of the skills of the boys, particularly the three new players to the team in Brandon Williams, David Lee and Matthew Trotter.

Williams is scheduled to return to Chicago next month for the Under 12 skills competition that he won in Cayman back in January when the White Sox staff came down to launch the start of the Cayman Islands Little League season.

Reese Hoeksema won the Under 8, Matthew Guitard won the Under 10 and Tyler Bell won the Under 14 competitions and are also scheduled to go to Chicago at the end of August.

Hopefully the experience and memories of the trip will serve to inspire these young athletes in their continued play in the Cayman Islands Little League competitions.

The twelve-member Cay Sox squad is comprised of talented multi-sport young athletes who also play football, tennis, squash, karate, cricket, flag football, basketball in addition to baseball. Moreover two of them excel in their age group in swimming.

The team would like to thank all of their coaches, especially Chris McField, who dedicated their time to preparing the team for the tournament. The Cay Sox boys would also like to express their gratitude to Cliff Wood and Duke Sullivan, who coached the opposition ‘Cay Cubs’ during the run up to the travel for the tournament.

The team and parents would also like to thank Cayman Airways Limited for their donation of a round trip ticket to Miami. That ticket was raffled as a fund-raiser for the team just prior to their departure and won by Jeff Watler.

PULL QUOTE

The highlight on the night for the kids was seeing back-to-back home runs by Jim Thome including a grand slam in the bottom of the 6th inning to give him a new personal best of 7 RBIs in one game.

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