SAFFORD — The Gila Valley wrapped up a big Little League baseball season, with more than 300 players participating over several age groups.
Players excelled this year at selling raffle tickets, and prizes galore were handed out.
Little League president Frankie Castillo said, “This year was great. Every year gets bigger and bigger. This year was our first hosting at the arena. We had better seating, better lighting and a better turnout. The kids enjoyed it and we had great weather. Hopefully, every year continues to get bigger and bigger. I just want to say thank you to all our sponsors, thank all the board members for all their help. Without them, this wouldn’t be possible.”
Four boys went above and beyond with fund-raising and were given gifts in return for being so productive. Jayce Dubois and Ric Mattice tied for third, and both walked away with $50 gaming gift cards. The second top seller was Rucker Earp, who went home with a Nintendo Switch. The number one seller was Jaydyn Ortiz, who earned a brand-new pitching machine.
Bushman Dental took first in the Minors, and Team Pepsi won the Majors this year. Andrew Trujillo was recognized as Player of the Year for the Minors, and Paxton Echols the same for the Majors. On top of that, there were three groups of All-Star teams this year.
Voted to the 8-10 Minors were: Kurtis Barnes, Mario Chavez, Sean Cutler, Boston Echols, Deagan Faunce, Jagen Hall, Dane Jacobson, Carson Juarez, Bryant O’Mera, Kase Palmer, Broady Phillips, Layne Stahl and Andrew Trujillo.
The following were voted to the 9-11 all-star team: Damian Abril, Boston Arbizo, Peyton Arndt, Brant Duncan, Wyatt Elliott, Aiden Guttierez, Mason Hatch, Austin Lujan, Gavyn Masterson, Damion Nunez, Landon Robbins, William Sawyer and Royal Smith.
Voted to the Majors all-star team were: Carlos Arbizo, Aidan Bermudez, Dylan Broderick, Markus Carrasco, David Cruz, Paxton Echols, Jevyn Elliott, Osvaldo Estrada, Chad Johnson, Darren Maldonado, Elijah Merino, Zayden Sanchez and Dylan Stahl.
There will be All-Star games June 25 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.