For the last five years The Sierra Valley Storm baseball program has developed ball players 9U to 14U from all over the Sacramento area.
This year’s Storm 13s have certainly had more than their fair share of accomplishments. Last year they were the PONY Bronco U.S. Champions earning the opportunity to play in the National Youth Baseball Championships against the top 10 travel ball teams in the country. This year the Storm 13s are ranked No. 7 in the country, according to TravelBallSelect.com and Youth1.com. In a few weeks they set their sights on the TravelBall Select National Championships in Dallas against the 15 of the top 13U teams in the nation.
This past week the Storm 13s participated in the 15U National Team Prospect Games in Manteca, playing a round robin tournament with evaluations in between to select the top 18 ball players born in 1999 from Northern California to represent their region in North Carolina in September. The 15U National Team Identification Series in North Carolina is used to select next Summer’s 15U USA National Baseball Team competing against similar national teams throughout the world.
Once the stop watches and radar guns were put away, three Storm 13s were selected of among the first 12 to represent NorCal in North Carolina: Trenton Denholm (El Dorado Hills), Johnny Welch (Cameron Park) and Ricky Martinez (Morgan Hill). An additional two players, Hance Smith (Petaluma) and Spencer Torkelson (Petaluma), were selected to participate in the next round of evaluations on July 7.
Of the 12 teams that participated in this event, no other single team placed as many players on this NTIS roster as the Storm. What started as a local 9U PONY team in 2009 is now producing the type of talent attracting USA Baseball’s attention. All five of these ball players will be entering high school this next fall where they will undoubtedly make an immediate impact to their programs.