Ahwatukee Foothills PONY Baseball Association: News

Thursday, May 28
AFPBA Champions Division needs Facebook Votes to win a $25k Grant from State Farm!



Special Needs Kids’ Baseball League Needs Facebook Votes for $25K Grant

League Seeking to Support 500 More Special Needs Children

In less than a week, the Ahwatukee-based “Champions” Baseball League, currently made up of about 50 special needs children, will find out if their dream of expanding into a genuine city-wide league will come true. With the help of a few more Facebook votes, the Champions Baseball League could move from its #41 spot into the top 40, which would then earn the league a $25,000 grant as part of the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Competition, ending June 3rd. The grant money would be used to open the 100% free league, started three years ago by the Kelly family, to ten more cities—and 500 more special needs children—within Arizona.

The Kelly family and friends are working hard to secure daily votes during the final week of the competition. “We’re so close,” Tonya Kelly commented after checking their daily ranking, “and are working continuously to bump up Facebook votes. We seem to be a bit stuck between #40 and #42, but we just can’t disappoint the kids!” Tonya Kelly and her husband, Chris, started the Champions League in Ahwatukee primarily for their autistic son, Sam, who watched his younger brother play baseball every week. When Sam asked his dad when it was his turn to play, Chris contacted the PONY League to find out about starting a special needs team. He easily recruited 23 players, but now worries about having to turn kids away. At present, the Kelly family and a few local businesses support the team financially.

The league in Ahwatukee is currently the only special needs baseball league in Arizona. “We will do everything in our power to continue our Champions League,” said Tonya Kelly, “but getting this grant would make a huge difference to special needs children and their families all over the Valley. We’ve seen the tremendous impact it’s had on Sam, and on our little community. It has captured the hearts of many families both in and outside of Ahwatukee; to be able to extend that to the whole city would be priceless.”

Kelly went on to say that games are played every Friday night, with volunteers buddying up with players on the field, announcing the games, or simply cheering. The players, like Sam, count the days between games, and families talk of how they finally feel like part of the community. “Playing sports is as fundamental as breathing for many kids, and teaches so much,” Kelly continued. “Special needs children are no different. Putting on that team uniform, cheering on your teammates, and winning a game just feels good, whether you’re special needs or not!”

State Farm Neighborhood Assist Competition voting will continue through June 3rd on Facebook. People can vote up to ten times per day and have the option of using all ten votes at once for a singular cause.

Vote at: https://www.state-assist.com/cause/1505210/champions-league-baseball



Sunday, May 10
Announcing the 2015 AFPBA Mustang Black All-Star Team



The following eleven players have been elected to the 2015 Mustang Black All-Star team to compete in the Arizona State PONY tournament held in Scottsdale in June.

The player roster is:

Carter Bailey
Blake Bell
Tyler Berschel
Leo Bolivar
Caleb Stanley
Grant Haas
Nick Morrow
John Kretschmar
Jackson Sanders
Matt Ellsworth
Jack Westley

The team is being coached by: Chris Emanuel, Geoff Berschel and Scott Westley.

Please congratulate the players and come out and support them at the tournament!



Sunday, May 10
Announcing the 2015 AFPBA Mustang Blue All-Star Team



The following fifteen players have been elected to the 2015 Shetland All-Star team to compete in the Arizona State PONY tournament held in Scottsdale in June.

The player roster is:

Player Team
Jaiden Lo Re Angels
Sam Kalstrom Angels
Owen McGraw Angels
Maddux Fraser Angels
Avery Kafka Angels
Ryan Mueller Diamondbacks
Max Tomasek Diamondbacks
Mateo Rios Diamondbacks
Drew Wooten Diamondbacks
Cooper Bruzas Diamondbacks
Nathan Stuck Firebirds
CJ Snowden Firebirds
Jaxon Hamilton Firebirds
Nick Johnston Firebirds
RJ Rubio Firebirds
   

The team is being coached by: James Rubio, Tony Snowden, Jeff Stuck and Edwin Huizing.

Please congratulate the players and come out and support them at the tournament!  



Sunday, May 10
Announcing the 2015 AFPBA Pinto All-Star Team



The following thirteen players have been elected to the 2015 Pinto All-Star team to compete in the Arizona State PONY tournament held at Akimel A-al Middle School from May 28th - 31st. Coaches and parents cast their vote for the players on their child's Spring Season Team sending the top vote receivers to the team.

The player roster is:

Player Team
Brody Ruane Angels
Tanner Sutherland Angels
Izzy Abril Astros
Carter Steen Astros
Clayton Brassfield Diamondbacks
Kyle Ensley Diamondbacks
Miles McCarthy Diamondbacks
Sean Selzer Giants
Sammy Skinner Giants
Seth Skinner Giants
Reese Chamberlain Rockies
Storm Herrera Rockies
Jamison Weick Rockies
   

The team is being coached by: Eddie Herrera, Ron Ensley, Brian Skinner and Mike Kirby.

Please congratulate the players and come out and support them at the tournament!  



AFPBAShetlandAllStars2015wLabel1.jpg
AFPBA Shetland 6U All-Stars "Big Blue"
Sunday, May 10
Announcing the 2015 AFPBA Shetland All-Star Team



The following twelve players have been elected to the 2015 Shetland All-Star team to compete in the Arizona State PONY tournament held at Akimel A-al Middle School from May 28th - 31st. Coaches and parents cast their vote for the players on their child's Spring Season Team sending the top two vote receivers to the team.

The player roster is:

Team First Name Last Name Jersey #
Astros MASSIMO AMANTIA 11
Astros JOSEPH RAMOS 2
Athletics MASON VAEREWYCK 8
Athletics KASON WEBB 14
Diamondbacks CAYCE PARKS 1
Diamondbacks DREW REDDY 29
Dodgers ELIJAH ABRIL 34
Dodgers AUGGIE GRIMM 6
Rangers CAMDEN HONSA 21
Rangers HAGEN HAEFS 3
Rockies GRANT KEATON 10
Rockies JACE LEAHY 24
       

The team is being coached by: Steve Webb (Athletics), Adam Parks (Diamondbacks), Nick Vaerewyck (Athletics) and Todd Keaton (Rockies). 

Please congratulate the players and come out and support them at the tournament!



Sunday, March 1
Spring 2015 Opening Day Pictures





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