The four Shady Hills Little League All-Star teams aren't necessarily planning to take the Division 15 tournament by storm, but they are intent on making an impression.
"In past years, for Shady Hills, it's been two games and out," said John Felten, manager of the team of 13-year-olds. "We're planning on changing that this year."
Felten's team opens play at 7 p.m. Monday at home against Crystal River. A win would propel it into a winners-bracket game against Inverness on Wednesday; a defeat in the double-elimination tournament would move it into the losers bracket against either West Hernando or Anthony.
Leading the Shady Hills attack will be Brad Felten, who hit homers from both sides of the plate in the Top Teams tourney.
"We have a good all-around team and we should be in every game we play," said John Felten.
Besides the Feltens, the team is composed of Tony Ankers, Joseph Barton, Eric Bruscell, Harley Dennis III, Frederick Lorentsen, Brandon McCormich, Daniel Stamer, Melissa Strawser, Neil Vanderwiede, Cory Weinstein, Patrick Wysocki, Roger Zuckerman, and coach Bob Ankers.
The seniors team hopes an excellent defense and strong pitching will carry it forward. James Ogles, Shane Happel and Chris Smith will probably handle most of the pitching for the team, which plays its first game at 7 p.m. Tuesday against the winner of the Crystal River-South Levy first-round game.
"We're very proud of our teams and our league here in Shady Hills," said seniors coach Ed Happel. "We pride ourselves on having a family atmosphere and we've got some pretty good ballplayers too."
Others on the roster are Alex Anderson, William Barton Jr., Kevin Boisvert II, Lance Felten, John Gruss, Nick Ramsey, Rex Ransom, Stephen Vann, Wesley Wanamaker, Wally Watts, Scotty Woodall, and manager Keith Howell.
The Shady Hill Majors team made it to the finals of the Top Teams tournament and several of those players are on the all-star team as well. Leading the way will be first baseman Brad Lankford, who slugged five home runs in Top Teams action, including three grand slams. The trio of Dustin Smith, Adam Clark and Bobby Petrucci will likely be in the pitching rotation.
"I think we'll do real well," said manager Bob Clark. "West Hernando is the team to beat, but we've got a very strong team ourselves."
The Major boys, who have a first-round bye, will open at 7 p.m. Tuesday against the Inverness-Crystal River winner.
Others on the Majors team are Matthew Chaple, Jimmy Clougher, Dale Charles, Michael Mendoza, Christopher Patterson, Jason Post, Joseph Rickle IV, David Rusha III, Matthew Snow, Dusty Stamer, and coach John Post.
The Shady Hills 9-10-year-olds have been impressive in workouts, according to manager Kent Burgan. "We're getting better every day. The sectional final is here in Shady Hills, so it would be nice if we could get that far."
The Shady Hills 9-10s square off against Kennedy Park in their first game Monday at 7 p.m.
Team members are James Asbel, Erik Burgan, Aaron Clark, Benjamin Croll, Steven Kellum, Jared Lorentsen, Jeffrey Miller II, Todd Rickle, Joshua Rose, Timothy Rusha, David Russo, Philip Sanders, Travis Simpson and Bryan Strawser. The coach is Earl Aydelotte.