Jon Dinan | Democrat
Pictured above are the team members for the 2012 State Champion 11 year-old All-Stars of Honesdale: Anthony Dell’Aquila, Max Land, Will Howell, Ethan Dunn, Nate Frigoletto, Cade Labracio, Anthony DeGori, David Curreri, Jack Dennis, Max Alessi, Andy Caroll and Beau Freiermuth; assistant coaches Mike Frigoletto and Rick Labracio and head coach Joe Curreri.
Curreri leads team to Cal Ripken state title
By Jon Dinan
HONESDALE, PA Honesdale’s 11-year-old Cal Ripken League All-Star Team has done something that no other Honesdale Little Baseball Association team has ever done win a state title.
The All-Stars went 2-0 in districts and 5-1 in states to advance to their first ever regional berth, where they won two games before being eliminated with two consecutive defeats.
“It’s been a good ride,” said head coach, Joe Curreri.
“We had great pitching from Dave Curreri, Anthony DeGori and Cade Labracio. Anthony Delco hit two big home-runs for us and Max Alessi hit a grand slam to put us up in the semi-final,” he added.
Under Curreri, a former Narrowsburg resident, this group of players has won three district titles in a row, but this is the first season they’ve won states. During the double-elimination state tournament held in Warrington Twp., Honesdale opened with a 6-5 win over Ridley, but lost their second game to Hilltop, 3-2.
They would battle back through the elimination bracket however, beating Unionville, New Oxford, and Llanerch Hills. In the State Championship on July 18, Honesdale defeated Chichester, 6-3 which earned them a victory parade through town three days later.
Honesdale began it’s bid for a Regional Championship in Monroe, New Jersey. On Thursday, August 3 Honesdale defeated the Southern New Jersey All-stars 9-6 in the Mid-Atlantic regional tournament to record its first-ever regional tournament victory.
“The South Jersey team was well-coached and they played well, we just hit the ball a little better,” Assistant Coach, Mike Frigoletto said.
The following day, Honesdale trounced tournament host, Monroe, New Jersey, 18-3.
Saturday was not as successful as Honesdale lost 6-3 to Paulino, and 13-8 to Caribe. Both teams are New York City Metro representatives. The latter, Caribe would go on to win win the tournament.
“We are disappointed. Nobody likes to lose but looking back we can be extremely proud,” said Frigoletto. “We are a small town team able to play at the highest level against teams that draw from much larger populations.
“We have a solid defense, good pitching, and there isn’t an easy out in our batting order. I’m very proud of all our players,” Curreri said.
Curreri of Beach Lake has been coaching for 15 years, and this isn’t the first time he’s led a baseball team to success. In fact, he’s won two Babe Ruth League Championships in the past three years as manager of the Tusten Chiefs. Said Joe Curreri about his coaching prowess:
“The past few seasons have been tremendous successes, and it feels great. It’s a nice personal accomplishment, but the kids are the ones who put in the work.”