The Rays have lost only once in six seasons and finished their spring 2013 campaign undefeated, culminating with a league championship in the 11-and-12 year old division at Newtown Park on May 11.
The overall success of the Rays hasn’t diminished the objectives of the coaching staff.
“I have a simple philosophy to coaching,” said Rays’ head coach Roger Howery. “I want the kids to have fun first while learning the game, playing fair and at their best. Good results will follow.”
Howery has been involved with the team since 2010 when the core of the group was in the 7/8 year coach pitch league. The team consists of players who aren’t “drafted” onto the squad; instead an interested player may make a request to join the team. “We don’t have any ‘All-Stars’ who lived and breathed baseball,” said Howery. “We have good kids who like to hang around each other, very easy to coach and have a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude to the game.”
The roster of the Rays includes Billy Moonan, Jordan Duffy, Alex Roegge, Tristan Freyre, Cooper Hinkle, Matthew Lin, Andrew Evins, Andrew Howrey and Cole Rigsby among others.
The Rays’ assistant coaches, James Lin, Scott Unger, Jason Rigsby, Joe Duffy, Steve Rogge have helped the Rays over the years as well. “I’ve had so much help at every practice and game from the parents that it made coaching easy,” said Howery. “The assistant s would do literally anything I asked of them.”
The victory at Newtown Park was originally going to be the final tournament for the current roster to play as a unit since many of them are going to be in middle school and in different age groups. “The kids like each other, have good team chemistry and understand that each of them was important to the team to win ball games,” said Howrey. However, plans have been in the works on keeping the team together and the Rays may have the opportunity to play this fall at Ocee Park for one more season.