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By: Matt Bolan
Mar 12, 2024
Miami Dawgz claim Majors championship, South Florida strikes Gold.
Florida Showdown Recap
Miami Metro Dawgz
The amazing 25 year run of the Brian Aselton Memorial Police Softball tournament came to an end last year as Johnny Sanzo finally stepped away. It was a great tournament many of us attended over the years in Orlando and then finally in Tampa.

To keep Tampa alive for an early season dust up, 12 teams came to compete for the Florida Showdown Championship, February 24th and 25th, at the Dick Greco Softball Complex. The format was a 5 game guarantee, with a three game round robin seeded into Major and Gold double elimination brackets.

Several teams made it out Friday to Greco to hit bp, catch up with each other, and have some ‘camaraderie’ in the parking lot. This tournament was missing the heavy hitters of police softball, but it played well into an even field with a lot of close games. The balls seemed to be flying well off the bats throughout the weekend. The weather was perfect with blue skies and temperatures in the 70’s.

South Florida, missing several key players, struggled in round robin, but ended up with the one seed in Gold. The Miami Dawgz rolled through round robin with a plus 36 and grabbed the one seed in Majors.

Moving to the Gold bracket, South Florida started off with a win against Necessary Force. Dayton Metro/MDF Combo had wins over SWAT Elite and Secret Squirrels to make it to the winners bracket finals in a matchup with South Florida. South Florida came out victorious in that game, but Dayton Metro/MDF Combo made their way back to the championship game. South Florida, led by Brandon West, proved too strong in the finals and won the Gold championship.

In Majors, the Dawgz continued their run with wins over 305 Elite and Miami 5-0 to make it to the winners bracket finals. North Florida started off with a win in a tight game against Center Mass but lost to 5-0 by one to move to the losers bracket. 305 beat Center Mass and NF beat NYPD’s Finest to advance. North Florida then gets by 5-0 in a high scoring game to make it to the finals against the Dawgz. The Dawgz, led by Julio Fernandez, handled NF easily and finished with a convincing win to take the Florida Showdown in undefeated fashion.

A few takeaways from the weekend: There is ALOT of talent coming out of Miami, which should surprise no one. It’s a hot bed for ballplayers and all the Miami teams showed that. What any of these teams may lack in experience they more than make up for it in their youth, athleticism, and hitting prowess. We saw a couple of newer teams in Tampa, namely 305 Elite. They are a young, talented team that can make an impact on the circuit. If the Dawgz can travel to more tournaments throughout the year and keep their momentum going, they will be a force to be reckoned with.


A big thanks to all the teams that came, especially the NY teams that travelled from up north. Congratulations to the South Florida Lawmen and the Miami Dawgz on their wins and impressive start to the season. And a huge thanks to Johnny Sanzo for his contributions to Police softball as a player, tournament director, and most importantly his friendship to everyone. Hopefully we will see him around the circuit for years to come.

Personally I would like to thank Johnny, Jimmy Wolters, Brandon West, and Jim Bateman for all of the help behind the scenes in getting this tournament together on relatively short notice. Looking forward to the rest of the season on the best circuit in the country.


Results:
Majors:
1. Miami Dawgz
2. North Florida
3. Miami 5-0

Gold:
1. South Florida
2. Dayton Metro/MDF Combo
3. Necessary Force Majors

Majors MVP
Jose Luis Gutierrez - Dawgz

Majors All Tournament
Dawgz: Jorge Gutierrez, Hunter Grimm, David Salgueiro, Rob Fuentes, Antonio Gomez
North Florida: Colby Murphy, Marcel Wilson, Bryan Waller
Miami 5-0: Austin Voeller, Kyle Gerdts, Jose Gaston


Gold MVP
Danny Ferreiro - South Florida

Gold All Tournament
South Florida: Luis Rojas, Mike Faul, Kevin Drummond
Dayton Metro/MDF Combo: Derek Smith, Darren Sech, Alan Reichenbach
Necessary Force: Victor Rosario, Pat Richardson, JR Aluska



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