The 2013 season for the Herts Under-17 team was capped-off in style at the annual awards. This year the event was held in Basildon which is located in the neighbouring county of Essex. It was hosted by the Brown family and organised by the parents of the U17 players.
Carlos Casal Sr was the master of ceremony, while Carlos Casal Jr provided the audio-visual entertainment. This included a film showing the history of the current generation of Herts U17 players from the start of the Herts youth programme in 2007 to this day. Some great memories including the 2010 season when Herts won the U14 championship and reminded us of the families which were part of the team and have since relocated to other parts of the world, but they will always be part of this Herts generation.
Next it was time to announce and present the 2013 awards. Tom Everex-Armstrong picked up the prestigious Most Valuable Player Award. The MVP is voted on by the players and is a deserved recognition of Armstrong’s hard work over the years. Everyone is looking forward to more of his team speeches in 2014. He also received the Cy Young award for his outstanding pitching performances which included the win against rivals London Mets in the Semi-Final of the National Championship. His ERA for the U17 league season stands at 3.68 with 30 strikeouts and 5 wins.
Carlos Casal Jr and Charlie Mayhew picked up the infield and outfield gold gloves, respectively. Casal also received the Most Stolen Bases trophy with 14 steals. Tom Jansson-Wright had an impressive first season moving up from the U14 to the U17 leagues and was chosen as the Rookie of the Year. An injury from a cycling accident kept him out of the postseason, but everyone is hopeful that he will recover in time for the 2014 Opening Day.
In the batting category third-baseman Callum Vangundy was the batting champion with .444 average, .667 slugging percentage and 10 RBIs. Jose Morillo was the Home Run Champion, a change after Liam Green made this trophy his own over the previous two seasons.
The event continued with various competitions including a Britain’s Got Talent show. We hope that someone managed to capture the performance of coaches Carlos Casal Sr and Cris Hiche on video as well as that of Carlos Casal Jr and Conner Brown, who appeared to tell a story of two lovers in a balletic performance to the sound of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven. At one point Conner Brown appeared to die and Carlos Casal Jr made desperate attempts to revive him without success at which point he committed suicide not realizing that Conner was just about to wake up from his very brief coma. Please contact the club if you have videos or photos from the event.
Apart from the members of the 2013 Herts Harriers team, it was exciting to see the new signings who will be wearing the Herts jersey in the U17 and the senior leagues in 2014.
The Herts Harriers are ready and eager to return to the ballpark in 2014 – the players and the coaching staff looked like they have some unfinished business.