Some Clearwater ball players can officially be called state champions.
The District 12 Big League All-Stars took the Florida state championship after a well-fought tournament in Fort Myers last weekend.
Now the team heads to Fort Lauderdale this weekend to represent Florida against state champions from across the southeast — all for a shot at the Big League World Series.
The District 12 All-Star team is made up of 15 of the best players from the 16-18-year-old division of Clearwater, Largo and Dunedin Little Leagues. At least 12 of them came up through Greater Dunedin Little League over the years, Andy Sass, the Dunedin president, said.
Matt Morrow, who has coached 13 years, has taken five of the players to a Florida Little League state championship title before.
Back in 2006, Ben Emery, Alex Hart, Colyn O’Connell, Will Priest and coach's son Brett Beery were on the District 12 Majors team that fell a game short of the Little League World Series tournament in Williamsport, Pa.
"It's pretty neat those kids that I had six years ago — and I got 'em again," Morrow said.
Several also play together on their high school team.
The Big League All-Stars begin Southeast Region play Friday, July 13, night in Fort Lauderdale. The Southeast Region championship game is on Tuesday. The Big League World Series tournament in South Carolina will be aired on ESPN.
District 12 Big League All Star State Champions 2012:
(*roster courtesy Dena Emery, player parent)
- Travis Glessner
- Ben Emery
- Derrick Webb
- Jordon Savinon
- Colyn O’Connell
- Jesse Dingman
- Steven Petrilyak
- Brad Miller
- Jack Hamrick
- Alex Hart
- Brett Beery
- Brian Balbin
- Brannon Glover
- Will Priest
- Carter Cashman