Clairemont Hilltoppers Little League: Welcome

Celebrating Our 58th Season In 2014!

Last Chance to Sign Up for Fall Ball!



After three weeks of signups, we are down to the last chance to fill spots on this year's Fall Ball teams. This Saturday (August 23) we will be having a first practice for all Fall Ball players from 9-10:30 a.m. at Cadman.

If you have not signed up yet and are still interested in playing, we will sign up players from 8:30-10 a.m. on a space available basis. We expect to have two Farm, three Minors, three Intermediate and one Juniors team this Fall. Once space on those teams is full, we will have to put players on a waiting list, so please come sign up so you don't miss out.

Games are played only on Sunday afternoons, with teams typically practicing no more than once a week. Generally players who participate in the fall ball program benefit greatly from the additional instruction and experience, especially if they may be moving up to a new division next spring.

We are also looking for managers and coaches in the Farm division, so if you are interested in helping on the field, please come by Saturday and register your interest.

If you have any questions, contact either Vice President Mike Van Cleave (858) 525-5635 •; Ken Cicalo (619) 889-9216 •, or Player Agent Michelle Mendez (619) 977-6018 • 889-9216.


Seniors All-Stars Wrap Up Great Tournament Run!

Clairemont Hilltoppers Seniors All-Stars, Champions of District 32 & Section 6

Clairemont Hilltoppers' Senior All-Star team, winners of two tournaments, completed the Southern California Subdivision tournament as the third-place finisher. Congratulations to them on a great tournament season. 

All of the All-Star teams from our league had impressive tournament runs. You can click on the headline to this article to see how all their tournaments finished and see the highlights below:

9/10-year-old Tournament: Hosted by Rancho Penasquitos Little League
• First Game: Lost 11-6 to Rancho Penasquitos National on June 21
• Second Game: Hilltoppers defeated Peninsula, 7-6 on June 25
• Third Game: Hilltopprs defeated Rancho Penasquitos American, 12-1 on June 26
• Fourth Game: Hilltoppers defeated University City, 6-1 on June 28
• Fifth Game: Hilltoppers defeated Scripps Ranch National, 13-2 on June 30
• Sixth Game: Lost to Coronado on July 1
With this final loss, the 9/10 All-Stars' season has come to an end, with these boys bringing Clairemont Hilltoppers their second third-place finish of the postseason. Congratulations for making a great tournament run and representing CHLL with style.

11-year-old Tournament: Hosted by Coronado Little League
• First Game:
 Hilltoppers defeated Peninsula, 11-4 on June 26
• Second Game: Hilltoppers defeated Coronado, 10-6 on June 28
• Third Game: Lost 6-4 to Point Loma on July 7
Fourth Game: Lost 17-7 to Coronado on July 9
With this second loss, the 11-year-old team's season has come to an end, with these boys bringing Clairemont Hilltoppers its third third-place finish of the postseason. Congratulations for a fine tournament and representing CHLL with style.

Intermediate Tournament: Hosted by Clairemont Hilltoppers
• First Game:
 Hilltoppers defeated University City, 16-2 on June 14
• Second Game: Hilltoppers defeated Rancho Penasquitos American, 13-12 on June 15
• Third Game: Lost 13-7 to Rancho Penasquitos National on June 21
• Fourth Game: Hilltoppers defeated Scripps Ranch National, 10-7 on June 22
• Fifth Game: Hilltoppers defeated RP American, 18-6 on June 23
• Sixth Game: Lost 17-7 to Rancho Penasquitos National on June 24
With this final loss, the Intermediate All-Stars tournament season has come to an end, but these boys represented Clairemont Hilltoppers with amazing skill and class. Many thanks to the team for making such an exciting run this year.

Juniors Tournament: Hosted by University City Little League
• First Game:
 Hilltoppers defeated Peninsula, 9-5 on June 24
• Second Game: Hilltoppers defeated Mira Mesa, 10-5 on June 26
• Third Game: Lost to Peninsula, 5-4 on July 1
• Fourth game: Lost to Peninsula, 7-0 on July 2
With this final loss, the Juniors All-Stars' season has come to an end. While a disappointing finish, congratulations for reaching the tournament championship and representing Clairemont Hilltoppers so well.

Seniors District Tournament: Hosted by Mira Mesa Little League
• First Game: Hilltoppers defeated Peninsula, 11-6
• Second Game: Lost to Mira Mesa, 7-3 on July 2
• Third Game: Hilltoppers defeated Mira Mesa, 9-3 on July 3
With this win, the Hilltoppers Seniors team captures the District 32 All-Star tournament.

Section 6 Tournament: Hosted by District 33 at Damato Field in Tierrasanta
• Fourth Game: Hilltoppers defeated Patriot American (District 33 winner), 4-2 on July 11
Fifth Game: Lost to Patriot American, 9-6 on July 12
• Sixth Game: Hilltoppers defeated Patriot American 9-7 on July 12
With this win, the Hilltoppers Seniors team captures the Section 6 All-Star tournament.

Southern California Subdivision Tournament:
Hosted by District 66 at Spring Valley Little League, 1312 Sweetwater Lane, Spring Valley, CA 91977
• Seventh Game: Hilltoppers defeated Newmark Little League (District 43, Section 8 champs), 9-5 on July 19
• Eighth Game: Lost to Spring Valley, 11-3 on July 19
• Ninth Game: Hilltoppers defeated Newmark Little League, 8-7 on July 21
• Tenth Game: Lost to Central Garden Grove, 9-7 on July 21
With this loss, the Hilltoppers complete tournament play as one of the top six Seniors teams in all of Southern California. Great job representing us for the last few weeks guys. You made us proud!


Little Stars Tournament Brings Lots of Fun!

For the first time, Clairemont Hilltoppers hosted the District 32 Little Stars tournament, featuring teams of 7- and 8-year-olds, on June 12-15.
Three teams from our league, along with teams from every other league in our District played at CHLL in this fun weekend tournament. These entertaining games used pitching machines throughout, and gave our kids their first taste of playing teams from other areas.
It was a tremendous volunteer effort to host this four-day event, and we thank all of the announcers, umpires, snack bar workers, t-shirt sellers, and field prep workers for making this weekend possible. Over 150 kids enjoyed a tremendous weekend, which saw 26 games played over four days on our three fields!

Handout: Little Stars

Playoffs Wrap Up Regular Season


With the regular season ended, playoffs have decided our champions in the Farm, Minors, Intermediate and Juniors divisions.

The playoff winners in our Minors, Intermediate and Juniors divisions go on to compete in the District 32 Tournament of Champions competitions, playing against the winners from all of the other leagues in our 11-league district. 

Check back here or on our Facebook page to see results and updated schedules. 

Friday, May 30 -- Clairemont Town Council defeated Surf Shed
Friday, May 30 -- Clairemont Emmanuel defeated Jimmie Johnson
Saturday, May 31 -- Best Western defeated Clairemont Town Council
Saturday, May 31 -- Jersey Mike's defeated S.D. Madres
Saturday, May 31 -- Comfort Mechanical defeated Cottage Restaurant
Monday, June 2 -- Jersey Mike's defeated Best Western 
Monday, June 2 -- 
Clairemont Emmanuel defeated Comfort Mechanical
Saturday, June 7, 9 a.m., North Field -- Clairemont Emmanual defeated Jersey Mike's (Clairemont Emmanuel wins the Farm Division Championship)

Game 1: Tuesday, May 20 – Jimmie Johnson defeated Guild Mortgage
Game 2: Thursday, May 22 -- Granfors Construction defeated S.D. Madres
Game 3: Tuesday, May 27 -- Skybox Sports Grill defeated Jimmie Johnson
Game 4: Thursday, May 29  -- Thrasher Termite defeated Granfors Construction
Game 5: Saturday, May 31 -- S.D. Madres defeated Jimmie Johnson
Game 6: Saturday, May 31 -- Granfors Construction defeated Guild Mortgage
Game 7: Tuesday, June 3 -- Skybox defeated Thrasher Termite
Game 8: Tuesday, June 3 -- 
Granfors Construction defeated S.D. Madres
Game 9: Thursday, June 5 -- Thrasher Termite defeated Granfors Construction
Game 10: Friday, June 6 -- Thrasher Termite defeated Skybox
Game 11: Saturday, June 7 -- Thrasher Termite defeated Skybox (Thrasher Termite won the Minors Division Championship. They then represented Clairemont Hilltoppers in the District 32 Tournament of Champions, where they faced a strong Scripps Ranch American team, losing 7-3 in a well-played game)

Tuesday, May 27, 5 p.m. – Angels defeated Rays
Saturday, May 31, 10:30 a.m. – Padres defeated Orioles
Saturday, May 31, 1:30 p.m. – Nationals defeated Rays
Tuesday, June 3, 5 p.m. – Nationals defeated Padres (The Nationals won the Intermediate Championship. They then represented Clairemont Hilltoppers in the District 32 Tournament of Champions, where they played an extremely tight game against Scripps Ranch American, finally falling by one run in the last inning, 6-5)

Tuesday, May 27 -- White Sox defeated Rangers
Thursday, May 29 -- Game 1, White Sox defeated Red Sox
Saturday, May 31 -- Game 2, Red Sox defeated White Sox
Friday, June 5 -- Red Sox defeated White Sox (The Red Sox 
won the Juniors Championship. They then represented Clairemont Hilltoppers in the District 32 Tournament of Champions, where they dropped a tough 11-4 decision to Rancho Penasquitos)



Don't Miss Closing Day!

One of the highlights of each season, Closing Day, will be held on Saturday, June 7. It will feature a great day of one or more championship games, a fabulous barbecue for the whole league, and a fun-filled Closing Ceremonies.

Ceremonies begin at 11:30 a.m., with trophies or medals to all of the league’s players, our annual elections, special awards and surprises. The championship game for the Farm division will be played at 9 a.m., with a possible Minors division championship to also be played that morning.

We'll have a jumper for the kids, and a delicious BBQ lunch will be served from 11-2 p.m., for only $4 a plate. After ceremonies, we will have a fun home run derby for the kids, so plan to stick around to watch that.

At Closing Day, we honor all of our players and coaches for a great 2014 season, and will single out some who have really made this a year to remember. Our annual elections will also be held on Closing Day. Six positions will be filled to serve on the 2015 Hilltoppers Board of Directors: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Player Agent, and Senior Player Agent. Nominations will be taken from the floor during the election.

Thanks to all who made 2014 a season to remember. A look back at just some of the great memories from this year would include: our fabulous fundraiser dinner at the SkyBox in February, our terrific Opening Day celebration, our fun night out in April at our 11th annual Poker Tournament, the always great Never on Mother's Day coed softball tournament in early May, Little League Day at Petco Park, and finally our league playoffs.

In between, there were dozens of memorable games and hundreds of great plays. As we head into our tournament season and several more weeks of fun and excitement, we will look back and remember fondly the year we had, and realize that Fall Ball signups in August will be here before we know it!


Softball Tournament a Hit Once Again!

2014 Never on Mother's Day Softball Tournament Champs Whitey Wietelmann

Our 18th Annual Never on Mother's Day Softball Tournament on May 18 brought another fun day in the sun at Cadman Park.

More than 100 parents, coaches, alumni and friends of Clairemont Hilltoppers came together for this fun, adult coed tournament, with lots of hits, great plays and a few strained muscles ensuing.

This is such a great chance for our kids to see if the adults can do it like they've been telling it all year, and to raise a little money for Clairemont Hilltoppers.

Congratulations to our champions, Whitey Wietelmann (see picture), who survived to the end with their ragtag collection of aging men and only slightly younger women. They edged Team B.S., captained by CHLL President Bill Salonius, who had to play SEVEN games on a marathon day. Our "Hilltoppers2" team, led by Juniors manager Mike Ruthenberg and featuring several young former Hilltoppers players, finished in a strong third place.

Look for the commemorative red t-shirts being worn around the park this week as a badge of honor and ask for some stories of the big day's highlights. Don't miss this great Hilltoppers tradition next year! 


Little League Day With the Padres


Sunday, May 4th was our great annual Clairemont Hilltoppers trip to Petco Park.

Almost 400 Hilltoppers players, parents, coaches and friends enjoyed a dramatic walkoff win in the 9th inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The day began with the annual Little League parade down on the field at Petco Park, featuring thousands of Little Leaguers from all over San Diego County. Our seats were are all together in two sections of the Left Field Reserved. Kids enjoyed all of the fun activities right below our seats in the "Park in the Park," plus lots of goodies from the concession stands.

Prior to the bottom of the third inning, our own Nicholas Herschman, and 8-year-old from the Farm Cottage Padres, got to introduce the first Padres batter of the inning over the Petco Park P.A. system. His introduction of Rene Rivera was obviously the good luck charm Rvera needed, as he had two key doubles in the game to spur the Padres to the win.

A great day at the ballpark for our Hilltoppers families!


2014 Sponsorship Forms are Here!

If you are one of our esteemed returning sponsors and you need the forms to renew for this year, are a first timer, or it's been a while since you have taken advantage of our sponsorship opportunities, the forms are located here for your convenience. Simply download and print the forms and email or mail them in.

If you have any questions, please contact Troy Keltner, our sponsorship coordinator at 858-273-1949 or

Thank you for 58 years of support to Clairemont Hilltoppers Little League.



Handout: 2014 Sponsorship Forms

Why Play Clairemont Hilltoppers?

Serving The Kids of Clairemont Since 1957!

As part of the oldest and largest youth sports organization in history, Clairemont Hilltoppers Little League is proud to offer the finest experience possible for the youth of Clairemont.

For 75 years, the name "Little League" has been the most respected and recognized brand in all of youth sports. Now entering our 58th year, Clairemont Hilltoppers represents that brand as both the longest-running youth organization in Clairemont, but also its only Little League program. Over 20,000 boys and girls have passed through the Hilltoppers program since 1957, and we take special pride in the number of second- and third-generation players in our league.

Having grown significantly in the last five years, Clairemont Hilltoppers had 450 kids playing ball in our Spring 2013 season, and we continue to find new ways to bring fun, safety, competition and life lessons to every child who joins our program.

Here are just a few of the reasons for our growth and popularity:

• We offer divisions for kids of every age. Little League has teams for youth from 4- to 18-years-old. Any child who will be 4-years-old by April 30, 2014 is eligible to start in our T-Ball program. And, while many leagues end when players are 12-14-years-old, Clairemont Hilltoppers offers teenage divisions in the 13-14, 15-16 & 17-18 age groups in 2014.

• Reasonable costs. With many families facing challenging economic times, we have long made a commitment to make playing Little League affordable for everyone who wishes to play. Our registration fee for 2014 is just $58, easily the lowest of any youth sports league in town. We also ask participation in our fundraiser, selling 50 candy bars or making a $60 buyout. Plus, if you sell 75 candy bars, your registration fee is just $38! If you sell the candy, the fundraiser has a net cost to you of nothing, and you really can place your child in a full season of 20+ Little League games (plus all the associated fun and activities) for a net cost of just $38!

• Developing neighborhood and community relationships. With so many families living such busy lives, and sending kids to schools and activities in other parts of town, it's sometimes difficult to even get to know your neighbors. At Clairemont Hilltoppers, though, it's all about Clairemont. All of our players live within the community. We only advertise in our community. Most of our sponsors are in the community. We plan fundraisers within our community. The bonds that develop as kids and parents make friends in their neighborhood often last for a lifetime.

• Safety, training and education priorities. Little League has always been the leader in safety, and Clairemont Hilltoppers believes in that model. All of our managers and coaches are taught to make the safety of our children the number one concern. From our leaguewide ASAP Safety Plan, to mandatory background checks for every league volunteer, to continuing training programs for our coaches and umpires, our league will never take shortcuts on keeping our players out of harm's way. Our coaches and umpires are given rules and skills training on a regular basis, and our annual Parent Orientation is designed to make all parents part of the solution, rather than the problem, for our program.

• The Little League World Series. Certainly no event in youth sports is more recognized around the world. Each year, ABC and ESPN televise over 70 games in the various Little League All-Star tournaments. Not only is this an exciting summer tradition, but it gives Little League exposure to kids in every part of the country and in dozens of countries around the world. In addition to the World Series for the 11-12-year-old division in Williamsport, championship games in all of the teenage and softball divisions are also televised. Excitement has been high in Southern California recently, as two of the last five United States Champions (Park View Little League and Eastlake Little League) have come from our area. Every year, Clairemont Hilltoppers places teams in the All-Star tournaments. You can't get to the Little League World Series unless you sign up for Little League! 

 • Great fun activities for our parents. We strive very hard to bring fun beyond just the practices and games... and some of it is for the adults. Every year we have a great fundraiser dinner at the Skybox restaurant at Clairemont Square, an adult coed softball tournament, a poker tournament, Little League Day at a Padres game, and more. And, we're always looking for new ways to get together for some fun.

 We know that families have lots of choices when it comes to their kids' activities. If you choose to join us at Clairemont Hilltoppers Little League, please know that we will be doing everything we can to make that the best decision possible!


Clairemont Hilltoppers Hall of Fame

One of the highlights of our 50th Anniversary celebration in 2006 was the formation of a Clairemont Hilltoppers Hall of Fame.

Named as Charter Members were 17 individuals whose achievements, contributions and leadership will forever be recognized with this honor. A few others have been added since. A permanent plaque listing the names of all original and subsequent Hall of Famers hangs in our scorebooth building.

Following are the Inductees along with year named:

• Frank Adams (2006)
• Ron Conkle (2006)
• Ken Henderson (2006)
• Tom Franklin (2006)
• John Adams (2006)
• Link Lincavage (2006)
• Harold McCoy (2006)
• Jim Gerstenslager (2006)
• Dave Stephenson (2006)
• Mike Winters (2006)
• Dave Bermudes (2006)
• George Kovacevich (2006)
• Bill Salonius (2006)
• Jeanne Morrow (2006)
• Cesar Carmona (2006)
• Dave Pursel (2006)
• Mike Van Cleave (2006)
• Steve Conner (2008)
• Judy Salonius (2011)
• Ken Cicalo (2011)

These members are recognized for their contributions in one or more of these four categories: Inspirational, Leadership, Volunteer and Special Recognition. Future members will be selected by a committee of current and former Hilltoppers.

Congratulations to all of these Hall of Famers, and many thanks for all you have meant to Clairemont Hilltoppers Little League.

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