BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – A youth baseball team from South Florida is competing in a local tournament thanks to the help of some generous sponsors from here in the Valley.
Most of the children on the team of 10-year-olds are not your average kid.
“Most of the children are low-income, the underprivileged, the homeless, and we’re an inner city Miami team,” said Sponsor Jim Pastore of Salineville.
The Florida Stealth was the only team from outside of Ohio and Pennsylvania competing in the Battle on the Border at the Field of Dreams in Boardman this weekend. It is something both the kids and their families would never have been able to do without the generosity of several sponsors.
“It is a cool opportunity for me because I’ve never been here, and I’ve always really wanted to come over here to this part of the U.S.,” said Kyle Verzi, Florida Stealth, center fielder.
Florida Stealth General Manager Leonard Conticello said many of the team families do not have cars to make it to practice let alone money for a plane ticket and hotel room.
“What we want to do is afford these kids so that they get a break in life that they are going to pass it on to the next generation, too,” said Sponsor Charles Wieland of Boardman.
And it’s not just about the game. Jim Pastore says that in order for the boys to stay on the team they have to keep performing well in the classroom too.