Land O' Lakes Vipers Heading to Tournament of Champions
The baseball team will head to Cooperstown, N.Y., this summer where it will compete in the national tournament. A golf tournament at Plantation Palms on Feb. 19 will help the team raise money for the trip.
Cooperstown, N.Y., is well known for the legendary Baseball Hall of Fame but for many young baseball players it also is known as the place where dreams can come true.
Cooperstown has a summer tradition that allows young boys to experience baseball as they never have before. At Cooperstown Dreams Park, competitive baseball teams come from all over the country to participate in the Tournament of Champions.
This summer the Land O' Lakes Vipers will travel to Cooperstown to live out their dream.
The 12-year-old boys who make up the Land O' Lakes Vipers team have been together since 2010 when they were part of a championship all-star team.
Coached by former professional baseball player Mike Peeples, the Land O' Lakes All Stars won the District 25 Championship and went all the way to the state tournament, ultimately placing third.
In an effort to keep this promising team together, Peeples volunteered to coach these boys in the USSSA league. USSSA is a competitive, traveling
baseball league that allows players of all skill levels to experience the fun
and competition of national tournament play.
When the Vipers head to Cooperstown for the tournament the week of June 2, 97 other hopeful teams will be joining them. They will have a busy schedule, which includes six games over three days before they head to the championship single-elimination round. It sounds like hard work, but really, the hard work has already started.
The boys of the Land O' Lakes Vipers have been trying to raise money for their trip, which comes with a price tag of more than $11,000 for the whole team.
Fundraising efforts are ongoing. Pet City in Land O' Lakes recently provided the boys a space outside the store to sell raffle tickets.
Baseball players and their parents took shifts on a recent Saturday talking to customers about their upcoming trip and selling raffle tickets. The team will be selling raffle tickets again from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Feb. 11 at The Shops at Wiregrass. Raffle prizes include a large-screen TV and a variety of other items.
The drawing will be held during opening day for the Land O' Lakes Little League on Feb. 25.
In addition to selling raffle tickets, the team is hosting a golf tournament on Feb. 19 at the Plantation Palm Golf Club in Land O' Lakes. Contact Kim Stringer for registration or sponsorship information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 813-263-6312.