Hounds are champs yet again....
Tribute to PS.COM founder Del Pickney #RIP
Many changes were made this year for our annual softball tournament that probably should have been made years ago. Bacon ball was dropped and John Scollo Memorial was born. We will forever be grateful for Bacon ball and all they contributed in the past. The tournament was moved to a different complex along with the host hotel, and both received very positive reviews.
On Friday night, Rocco Mangel, once again opened the doors to his beautiful restaurant (Rocco’s Tacos) to over a hundred players and family members. This year he threw in Tito’s vodka on top of the other food and drinks and it definitely seemed to add a glow to the party. We really appreciate all the people that showed for it, and for Rocco and Alex (the General Manager’s) generosity and support of Law Enforcement.
Saturday morning, with perfect weather, at the opening ceremony, several State Legislators and county personnel were present and threw out the first pitch. Kyle Scollo flew into town for his father’s tournament and said a few meaningful words. Kyle was overwhelmed with the support that our LEO community still shows for his DAD. (We thank you for that). The ceremony was videoed from our helo and a copy sent to Michelle in honor of DEL. South Florida Lawmen had shirts made to pay tribute to Del and John and the proceeds were made into a donation to the Pickney family. (God Bless).
15 teams started, which led to 8 teams in the upper and 7 teams in the lower divisions.
The Upper division
The early surprises in round robin were the NYPD Hounds losing early to a very good Charlotte County team and finishing as the 8th seed in the upper. (Imagine them going to the lower bracket). SFL won both round robin games and then ran into Center Mass in the first round of double elimination games. They were on fire and laid it to us. The Metro Dawgs, who always come to play hard and beat many good teams kept it going in this tourney and finished 5th. Mike Kletzky hit a walk-off against them to put them out and advance us, where Center Mass beat us again.
NFL (North Florida Lawmen) finished as the top seed as they came out swinging early. NFL vs Hounds in the first round of double elimination, and it was a very good game with Hounds winning. Suffolk County and the Shamrocks, who always supports us, played some good softball throughout but Shamrocks ran into the surprise team of the tourney, Center Mass, (full respect in saying that). Suffolk was rolling and hitting the cover off the ball and had two great games with NYPD Hounds who forced the “if” game and prevailed. After a full day of softball on Saturday and Sunday the upper division finished as this:
South Florida Lawmen
Miami Metro Dawgs
North Florida Lawmen
But from watching and playing several of these teams, anybody could have won this tournament in the upper. Charlotte County and Center Mass will be problems all year with their squads if they travel consistently. Much respect for being two newer teams.
Metro Dade Enforcers who have always supported us, continue to get better and Larry has them going in the right direction. MO50 and Detroits Finest both from Michigan, Gabe and Eric came from snow to battle. The Miami Gunners came and played well and lost some close games, but those guys are gamers.
Montgomery probably had the hardest draw of all the teams as they faced off with the Hounds and Center Mass and fell into the lower division. They showed a lot of heart and fought to the end. At the end Mo50 beat Metro Dade Enforcers to force an “if “game and the Metro Dade Enforcers came out on top. This was the first year of breaking it into 2 divisions and I agree that it is the best way. More competitive and more fun for all teams.
Upper Champions: NYPD Hounds- MVP Nick Bekas
Lower Champions: Metro Dade Enforcers
Last but not least some very special people jumped in and helped us all weekend, and I super appreciate it. Carlos Rodriguez, Dave Bernhardt, Mike Donovan. Brittney (West Palm Beach Pal), PBA and Mike Kletzky from South Florida Lawmen
Donnie Meyer (shocker right), the whole NFL team (Thanks Matt)
Andy Wurm, (you flew in to support us and play and help out, thanks)
Dan Potter came as well and did a great job umpiring and always had great advice to pass along, class act Dan thank you. Great seeing Dan Spinelli, keep fighting buddy.
Jim Wolters, Hounds thanks for the advice and feedback.
Our Sponsors, Mostly Rocco Mangel. Thanks brother, we appreciate all you do.
Once again thank you all for the support and see you all and more next year.