For the Toms River East Little League having a team advance to the New Jersey State Tournament is nothing new and we'll cover that shortly. However in the 50-year history of the Manchester Little League they have never had a team reach the state tournament. That was until last week when their 13 and 14 year olds beat South Wall for the Section 3 Junior League Championship.

Manchester 14's (Manchester Little League)

Coached by Ed Carney, Pat Barry and Henry Wernoch, Manchester opens play in the state tournament tomorrow night in Tinton Falls against Parsippany Troy East, whose 12-year olds won the Mid Atlantic title last year and advanced to Williamsport, Pennsylvania. If Manchester comes out of the four-team state tournament they would advance to the East Regional which is in Freehold and eventually could be headed to the Junior League World Series in Taylor, Michigan.

The dozen players have been together pretty much since they were 8-year olds and came close on a couple of occasions to winning the District 18 title before finally breaking through this July and then capturing the sectional title.

Players on the squad are Dillon Barry,  Matt Bryant, Jacob Byrnes, Christian Carney, Patrick Carney, Troy Kysniak, Matt Migliaccio, Gavin Pabst, Steven Rodriguez, Joey Tomei, Mark Wernoch and Ryan Vanderham.

Meanwhile in the better known 12-year old division which leads to Williamsport, Toms River East American is back for the first time since their incredible run in the 90’s when three of their teams made it all the way to the Little League World Series.  The former “Beasts from the East” won the District 18 title and then fought their way through the loser’s bracket to claim the Section 3 championship with a pair of stirring wins over Nottingham.

They open state play tomorrow night against East Greenwich in Wallington.  By the way Toms River East American also claimed the sectional title in the Senior League Division.

If you’re going to host a lifeguard tournament you might as well win it and that’s what took place last night in Seaside Park.  A victory in the final event…the run relay clinched the team title for Seaside Park, who received an inspired effort from Beach Patrol captain Joe Gomulka.

Lavallette was second and Island Beach third in the annual event on the Stockton Avenue Beach.