Printer Friendly

MANAGING TO WIN COACHES SHOW CONEJO VALLEY HOW TO DO IT.

Byline: Gerry Gittelson Staff Writer

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A group of home run hitters and strikeout pitchers have provided a big lift for World Series qualifier Conejo Valley Little League. But most agree a key reason for the 11- and 12-year-olds' success is the sturdy leadership provided by manager Tom Ginther and assistants Rick Brower and Frank Leon.

The threesome previously coached eight members of the team two years ago when Conejo Valley won the Southern California title in the 10-and-under division. The coaches hope the good times keep rolling in the Little League World Series, which begins Friday against Rhode Island in the first round of round-robin competition.

``We couldn't win without these coaches. They've taught all of us so many things,'' catcher John Lister said.

``I remember when we were losing by two runs to Nevada in the Western Regionals, Coach Ginther took us aside and told us if we keep hitting and play good defense, we'd come back and win. I believed him, and that's exactly what happened.''

Ginther set some strict rules in the beginning, such as never arriving late and always tucking in your shirt. But none of the coaches are particularly hard-nosed, preferring a fun, easygoing style.

It has worked. Fundamentally sound Conejo Valley is 17-0 and has given up just one unearned run all season.

``Tom Ginther knows what to do all the time, and Frank Leon and Rick Brower are more like the motivators, kind of the same type,'' Conejo Valley's Adam Justiano said.

``I think they've got everyone on the team doing their jobs really well.''

Ginther, a grocery manager, has the most baseball experience.

He played at Thousand Oaks High, Moorpark College and Cal Lutheran in the 1970s before a brief stint in the Detroit Tigers organization. Brower, who works in construction, played at Newbury Park High and has participated in various large-scale softball tournaments. Leon, a mortgage broker, has a recreation-level background.

Ginther has a batting cage in his backyard, and the team practices hitting twice a day. The strategy has helped Conejo Valley total 23 home runs with a team batting average near .400.

``We definitely do a lot of hitting, and that's helped us cut down on strikeouts quite a bit,'' Ginther said. ``We also pitch to the kids and throw them a lot of curveballs because curves are hard to hit when you're in little league.

``Plus, my basic philosophy is to instill some discipline with no obscene language or anything like that. And I insist every player must be polite to his teammates.''

Gerry Gittelson, (661) 257-5218

gerry.gittelson(at)dailynews.com

CONEJO VALLEY LITTLE LEAGUE

James Brady

HT/WT: 5-0, 105

BATS/THROWS: Right/Right

CAREER GOAL: Baseball player

HERO: Dad

HOBBIES: Poker & other sports

FAV ATHLETE: Derek Jeter

FAV FOOD: Spaghetti

FAV TV SHOW: SportsCenter

FAV MOVIE: Happy Gilmore

FAV BAND/SINGER: D12

Jordan Brower

HT/WT: 5-5, 115

BATS/THROWS: Both/Right

CAREER GOAL: Pro athlete

HERO: Dad

HOBBIES: Sports and PS2

FAV ATHLETE: Chipper Jones

FAV FOOD: Dad's tacos

FAV TV SHOW: Baseball Tonight

FAV MOVIE: Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star & White Chicks

FAV BAND/SINGER: Usher

Hayden Cronenbold

HT/WT: 5-1, 90

BATS/THROWS: Right/Right

CAREER GOAL: Pro baseball player

HERO: Parents

HOBBIES: Soccer

FAV ATHLETE: Alex Rodriguez

FAV FOOD: Burgers

FAV TV SHOW: Boiling Points

FAV MOVIE: Happy Gilmore

FAV BAND/SINGER: 50 Cent

Derrick Francis

HT/WT: 5-3, 115

BATS/THROWS: Left/Right

CAREER GOAL: Win Little League World Series

HERO: Dad

HOBBIES: Ping pong & trading pins

FAV ATHLETE: Sammy Sosa

FAV FOOD: Steak sandwich

FAV TV SHOW: PTI

FAV MOVIE: White Chicks

FAV BAND/SINGER: 50 Cent

Tim Ginther

HT/WT: 4-11, 90

BATS/THROWS: Both/Right

CAREER GOAL: Pro baseball player

HERO: Sad

HOBBIES: Playing baseball

FAV ATHLETE: Ken Griffey, Jr.

FAV FOOD: Ribs

FAV TV SHOW: Family Guy

FAV MOVIE: Sandlot

FAV BAND/SINGER: Newfound Glory

Adam Justiano

HT/WT: 5-7, 110

BATS/THROWS: Right/Right

CAREER GOAL: Businessman

HERO: Mom & Dad

HOBBIES: Baseball & collecting baseball cards

FAV ATHLETE: Alex Rodriguez

FAV FOOD: Sushi

FAV TV SHOW: Sports Center

FAV MOVIE: The Godfather

FAV BAND/SINGER: Led Zeppelin

Tyler Karp

HT/WT: 5-6, 110

BATS/THROWS: Right/Right

CAREER GOAL: Pro baseball player

HERO: Dad

HOBBIES: Video games

FAV ATHLETE: Eric Gagne

FAV FOOD: Corn dogs

FAV TV SHOW: Sports Center

FAV MOVIE: Sandlot

FAV BAND/SINGER: None

Danny Leon

HT/WT: 5-7, 125

BATS/THROWS: Right/Right

CAREER GOAL: Baseball player

HERO: Dad

HOBBIES: Guitar & basketball

FAV ATHLETE: Sammy Sosa

FAV FOOD: BBQ chicken, pizza

FAV TV SHOW: Family Guy

FAV MOVIE: *61

FAV BAND/SINGER: No Use For A Name

John Lister

HT/WT: 5-10, 145

BATS/THROWS: Right/Right

CAREER GOAL: Pro athlete

HERO: Walter Payton

HOBBIES: Pin trading

FAV ATHLETE: Mike Lieberthal

FAV FOOD: Pasta

FAV TV SHOW: SportsCenter

FAV MOVIE: Waterboy

FAV BAND/SINGER: AC/DC

Sean McIntyre

HT/WT: 5-6, 115

BATS/THROWS: Left/left

CAREER GOAL: Pro baseball player

HERO: Henry Aaron

HOBBIES: Baseball

FAV ATHLETE: Darin Ersted

FAV FOOD: Ribs

FAV TV SHOW: Sports Center

FAV MOVIE: White Chicks

FAV BAND/SINGER: G-Unit

Evan Ocello

HT/WT: 5-0, 85

BATS/THROWS: Right/Right

CAREER GOAL: Pro baseball player

HERO: Mom & Dad

HOBBIES: Collecting cards, PS2 & sports

FAV ATHLETE: Barry Bonds

FAV FOOD: Soup

FAV TV SHOW: Baseball Tonight

FAV MOVIE: None

FAV BAND/SINGER: None

Cody Thomson

HT/WT: 5-9, 150

BATS/THROWS: Right/Right

CAREER GOAL: Be the best I can be

HERO: Grandpa Tom

HOBBIES: Baseball cards & swimming

FAV ATHLETE: Albert Pujols

FAV FOOD: Steak

FAV TV SHOW: Sports Center

FAV MOVIE: Airplane

FAV BAND/SINGER: Van Halen

CAPTION(S):

15 photos, 2 boxes

Photo:

(1) LEON

(2) BROWER

(3) JAMES BRADY

(4) TIM GINTHER

(5) JOHN LISTER

(6) JORDAN BROWER

(7) ADAM JUSTIANO

(8) SEAN MCINTYRE

(9) HAYDEN CRONEBOLD

(10) TYLER KARP

(11) EVAN OCELLO

(12) DERRICK FRANCIS

(13) DANNY LEON

(14) CODY THOMSON

(15) -Tom Ginther

Conejo Valley Little League manager

Box:

(1) CONEJO VALLEY TEAM PROFILES (see text)

(2) SCHEDULE
COPYRIGHT 2004 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 19, 2004
Words:1008
Previous Article:RARE LOSS FOR 'HAWKS AT QUAKES R. CUCAMONGA 5, JETHAWKS 3.
Next Article:PUBLIC FORUM DISCOURAGING NEWS.


Related Articles
YOUTH BASEBALL: T.O. WAS READY FOR EL RIO CHALLENGE.
MOORPARK GETS A PEP TALK FROM ITS ALUMNI.
LOCAL NOTES.
FRIENDLY RIVALRIES MARK MEET; SPECIAL OLYMPICS WINDS UP SEASON.
ROLLER HOCKEY IS A HIT WITH AREA'S YOUNGSTERS.
LOCAL NOTES : ANNOUNCEMENTS.
LOCAL NOTES.
LITTLE LEAGUERS LOST BUT HAD AN UNFORGETTABLE RIDE.
SPORTS 2004: A 'GREAT RIDE' FOR LITTLE LEAGUERS CONEJO VALLEY TEAM'S MARCH TO CHAMPIONSHIP BRINGS PRIDE.
POOL SHARKS MOMS MAKE BIG SPLASH WITH WATER POLO CLUB.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters