Meet the 9-to-10-year-old Patterson Angels:
Summer vacation can officially begin for the Patterson Little League Minor Division Angels baseball team, which was recently eliminated from the District 67 Tournament of Champions for 9-and 10-year-olds.
While it’s never easy to lose, the Patterson Angels (14-5-2) proved that they know how to handle defeat with dignity, according to fourth-year coach Bert Cardoso.
“The team was successful far beyond their accomplishments within Little League — they have grown as friends,” Cardoso said. “The players leave the team with a feeling of accomplishment and pride in their efforts throughout the season.”
Following a 14-8 setback at the hands of Spreckles Park of Manteca on June 15, Patterson’s Angels seemingly improved overnight, rebounding to make their June 17 battle with Northgate of Manteca a closely contested 11-10 loss.
While the team was disappointed, Cardoso was also thankful for an experience that his young charges will never forget.
“We knew that we would face larger teams within the tournament — our strategy did not waiver from the regular season,” Cardoso said. “We focused on baseball fundamentals and playing smart as well as strong. We practiced regularly and held additional pitching practices.”
After the season-ending loss against Northgate, Cardoso rounded up his team for one final post game address.
“In a world that is becoming increasingly competitive, it is beyond inspiring to see a team and a group of coaches that see beyond all that, and have created a group of 11 boys that just enjoy the simple pastime of baseball,” Cardoso said. “Our team always played to win, but more importantly, we played because we loved the sport.”
Angels pitchers Javier Huizar and Ethin Moules were workhorses atop the mound throughout the team’s march to the top of the regular-season standings.
Teammates Lane Cardoso, Lucas Cardoso and Jordan Imada helped beef up the offense.
“Our players showed great sportsmanship throughout the season. They were kind to one another and always supported their teammates,” Bert Cardoso said. “Our stronger players offered support and advice to others on the team. Many of the players have continued their friendships outside of the season.”
Bert Cardoso credits pitching coach Victor Huizar, and parents Christina Ortiz and Robin Imada with molding this year’s squad.
“(Victor Huizar) worked with many of the players on their pitching techniques. He is not only extremely knowledgeable, but he is kind, and most importantly, patient,” Bert Cardoso said. “(Christina Ortiz) provided photos and pitch counts for the team throughout the season. And (Robin Imada) ensured that all players were ready and supportive while in the dugout. She provided moral support and comfort throughout the season to any player needing it.”
For Bert Cardoso, reaching the Tournament of Champions was not just an opportunity to extend the campaign. It was also about giving the players, coaches and fans in Patterson what he thinks they deserve.
“The more successful you are at supporting each other, the stronger the team becomes,” he said. “Each and every one of these kids was an athlete already, no matter what their skill level. Their heart and determination to improve was evident throughout the season.”
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com