2002 ISA Winter Nationals

The ISA had their annual Winter National in Winter Haven, Florida at the beautiful Diamondplex complex. I can tell you “if this is an example of what the A Division is going to be like this season, then softball fans you are going to be in for a real treat.” There were 11 good A teams who played this weekend here in sunny Florida. Team Mizuno, out of Florida was the winner in this one. Rick Gosser has put together an unbelievable talented team that will be hard to beat in the A Division in 2002. Defensively they are solid in every position in their infield and have a shortstop named Wayne Busby who can play on any team in the country. The only reason Wayne hasn’t been on one of the Top 15 teams, other than his short stay with Hague one season, is because he has been playing on one of the top B teams in the country and has been taken care of very well. Team Mizuno also has a solid outfield, and can base hit it with anybody, and has enough power to stay in the top 5 or 6 all season long. Believe me this team will be reckoned with. There are at least 10 very good A teams who will battle all season. I know some of these 10 teams will register as AA teams, but I don’t believe that any of those who want to be AA are any better than the top A teams in the country, but we will see. Resmondo Sod, a pick-up team put together by Travis Resmondo finished in 2nd. place. They had Albert Davis, who hit 13 homeruns and Carl Rose along with Dal Beggs on this team, who are regulars for Hague/Resmondo/Walser/Worth’s team this season. Team AH, out of Dayton, Ohio took 3rd. place after losing their first game of the tournament, but then got it going and played pretty good the rest of the way. This team can become a competitive A team if they add two or three more talented players to their roster and if Tot Powers plays with them they will be a very good team. Florida! Heat/Nave Plumbing/Worth finished in 4th place and will be another one of those very good A teams, who will be a contender at the A level all season. “Big” Butch Smith had 13 bumps this weekend for this Florida team. Suncoast/Nike also has a very good A team, who brought a lot of players that they wanted to look at this weekend before putting their final roster together. I look for them to be very strong. WW Gay/Aubrey’s/TPS looks to be another good A team, but for them to be a contender all season long they will have to add a little more power to their line-up. Other teams who played in this tournament this weekend who could become very good teams are Team Georgia, who will have Steve Craven, Wendall Rickard and Rickie Huggins along with some other very good players. Look for them to be pretty good. JW Construction, Team Stucco will also be very good teams this coming season. Thermco out of Massachusetts, a very good B team, had Jeff Wallace and Brett Helmer this weekend on their team got to play 5 games, 3 in the consolation bracket which gave Jeff & Brett a lot of swings, just what they were looking in for in the 80 degree temps. They have been hitting in very cold weather daily up in NY and welcomed a chance to hit in the warm weather. The ISA did another great job getting all these good teams to participate in this winter event. Great job to all the ISA staff.