Top Team - July 2011

Sponsored by Joto's Pizza

Pinellas Park/Largo
9119 Belcher Road
1280 W. Bay Dr.
13050 Park Blvd.

Congratulations to the Clydesdale Rays!

If you are a parent of an athlete, you know that occasionally, when the stars align just right and luck is on your side, your child’s team can experience a magical season. The July Joto’s Team of the Month is the Clydesdale Rays from the Pinellas Park PONY Baseball League. The team not only enjoyed a magical spring season because of its winning record, but also because of its supportive parents, encouraging coaches, and tight-knit players. Enjoying these assets is unquestionably a big win in itself!

The Clydesdale Rays’ head coach was Todd George, who has coached his son Camden’s team for the last 8 spring seasons at the Pinellas Park PONY League at Davis Field. When asked why he has served as head coach for so many seasons, Todd answered, “I view coaching as an opportunity to minister to these kids. I may not be at church volunteering, but I am on the field trying to model good character and to encourage them.” The coaches also preach hard work in the classroom, good sportsmanship and a respect for others. Todd’s assistants, Brent Thrower and Hector Rios, have supportively coached with him for the last 6 years now. Also helping this season were Bob Hartmann, Chris Mathis, and Dan Montrone.

The spring season’s Clydesdale Division is 9 teams strong, with players 9-12 years of age. This division is strictly kids’ pitch, which makes for some exciting moments of play! The Rays’ pitching talent was the foundation for a solid defense, with numerous 3-strikeout innings by the teams’ pitchers, Grant Thrower, Anthony Montrone, Camden George, and Hector Rios.

The Clydesdale Rays ended their season with a 14-2 record, tied with the talented Rebels team who also finished with a 14-2 record. This set the stage for an exciting postseason tournament among the 9 teams in the division, allowing the Rays a chance at redemption for their 2 losses, which were to the Rebels. The Rays were determined to play their best and finish out the year as tournament champs!

In the end, the Rays dominated the tournament and pulled out a first place trophy win, beating the Rebels in two of the tournament games with scores of 8-5 and 14-4, a result of solid defense and pitching. The head umpire, Angie Flynn, chose Anthony Montrone as the MVP of the tournament because of his awesome hustling skills behind the plate, as well as his impressive bat and glove and, above all, his good sportsmanship!

All the Clydesdale Rays players contributed to their magical season. Their names are: Darien Callier, Camden George, Clark Hartmann, Marin Klapuh, Isaac Locke, Forrest Lutz, Dylan Martin, Caelan Masters, Austin Mathis, Anthony Montrone, Hector Rios, and Grant Thrower. These kids’ memories will keep the magic alive for years to come!

The Pinellas Park PONY League is open to kids ages 2 ½ - 14 for baseball and ages 8-16 for softball. There are no boundary restrictions to PONY League. Anyone is welcome. If you are interested in learning more, please contact 727-548-0891 or e-mail at Registration for the spring 2012 season will begin in December and go through January.

Nominate Your Top Team

If you wish to nominate a “Top Team of the Month” please send an email to or simply drop off your nomination at your local Joto’s Pizzeria.

Gulf Coast Family Publications - Encouraging families along the Gulf Coast in Pinellas County