Tideland News Report
Swansboro High School will serve as the site for the North Carolina Junior Legion baseball championship, and the Swansboro Post 78 Junior Legion team will be the host team.
Seven teams from across the state, each representing their home districts, will descend upon Swansboro for the “Bash at the Beach,” which will be played July 20-24.
“Our team received notification last fall that they were awarded the tournament and since then has been working diligently with area businesses and the local community for sponsorships and fundraising,” explained Wayne Herbert, team coordinator and one of the tourney organizers. “To date the response has been overwhelming with more than 25 sponsors supporting the team in some fashion. The Hampton Inn will serve as tournament central and will see an influx of baseball families during that long weekend.”
The eight-team, double-elimination tournament will feature four games a day during the early rounds, at 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
The event will officially begin on July 20 at 9 a.m. with opening ceremonies. The champion will be crowned the evening of July 23 or 24.
Post 78 has been enjoying a successful summer and currently has an 18-4 record. Herbert explained that the young team has blossomed under a pair of new coaches, and is grooming its players for the varsity baseball team at Swansboro High School.
“We have first-year coaches in Scott Mastranunzio and Jeff Brooks, and they have done a superb job balancing hard work, baseball fundamentals, and sportsmanship resulting to date in a 18-4 record,” said Herbert. “Overall we are a younger team with only one rising senior, but with that said we have many returning players from last summer and those who were part of the high school’s recent success.
“Our job is to build upon the trip to the state playoffs by our varsity team and an unbelievable 17-1 record posted by our jayvee team,” he continued. “This is a year-round sport for many of our players, which began in February at the high school and continues through the summer with Junior Legion baseball. Overall the future looks extremely bright for Swansboro High School baseball.”
Team members include Beau Barton, Jake Barton, Jordan Behan, Tyler Bodnarik, Jacob Brooks, Kevin Burgess, Sean Burke, RL Carpenter, Kyle Hansill, Reid Henderson, Hunter Henry, Dillon Herbert, Cameron Laspada, Jared Morton, Cayse Perry, Jake Schopp, David Shekey, and Nate Wieckowski.
Herbert explained the philosophy and goals of the team.
“Swansboro Junior Legion Post 78 baseball team is a non-profit organization comprised of Swansboro High School baseball players and volunteer coaches and parents,” he said. “Our goal is to develop players through focused instruction and keen competition while always demanding sportsmanship. Our mission is to maintain a balanced team with skilled players and dedicated parents seeking a positive baseball experience.
“Our philosophy is that being part of Swansboro Junior Legion Baseball, our players become improved high school baseball players, leaders in their school, as well as volunteers and leaders in our community.”
Entry fee for the tournament is $7 for adults and $3 for children 12-and-under.
The tournament is an approved high school SAT volunteer event. Interested Onslow County students should go to the Swansboro High School webpage for more information: