After much anticipation, the 2015 NYESL Memorial Day tournament has come and gone and the Bronx Emperors were the last team standing. The Emperors have been on an impressive run the last few years, and continued to show the stickball world why they are the team to beat.
The weekend was filled with plenty of great stickball action and lots of surprises along the way. One of the weekends surprises was the Jersey City Saints going undefeated through Saturday and Sunday. Another big surprise had to be the Royals, currently second in the regular season standings, not making it to playoff Monday.
Through the first two days of action, only eight teams were worthy of playing on Mondays single elimination playoff. The seeding for Monday was as follows:
1. Jersey City Saints
2. The Gold
3. Puerto Rico Rookies
4. Leland Legends
5. Bronx Emperors
6. Miami Heat.
7. Tampa Chargers
8. San Diego Fish Sticks
The opening round saw 3 lower seeded teams beat higher seeds. The Fish Sticks shut down the high powered Saints offense to keep the curse of 6-0 alive. Miami took out Puerto Rico, and the Emperors shut down Leland. The Gold needed a 7th inning rally to avoid being upset by Tampa, and extras to come out on top.
In the semifinals, we had a showdown of the Fish Sticks against the Gold, and the Miami Heat against the Bronx Emperors. The Gold edged the Fish Sticks to earn the right to play in their 3rd consecutive Memorial Day championship game, as well as trying to 3-peat as champs. The Emperors powered their way past Miami to earn the right to play against the Gold.
In the Championship game, the Emperors jumped all over the Gold from the very start and never looked back. It truly has been an impressive run for the Emperors. The combination of having a shut-down defense, backed by a high-powered offense, has been tough to beat. Anthony Caban was awarded the MVP of the tournament. He is the emotional leader of the Emperors and his impact on the game is unparalleled by anyone playing this game today.
The NYESL wants to thank all the teams who came out to support this tournament. Without your support, this league wouldn’t be where it is today. It is the teams from out of town who play in this tournament that make it so special. So thank you Tampa Chargers, Miami Heat, Puerto Rico Rookies, San Diego Fish Sticks, La Fiebre, Sugar Hill, Young Bucks, and Chiefs for your continued support of the NYESL.
I also want to thank the members of the board, Vido Creales, Eddie Espada, Ty Davis, Darnell Byrd, Jay Bueno, and Tutu Rodriguez for putting together a great tournament. Also want to thank Richie Marrero for his help and contributions this weekend as well. You guys don’t get enough recognition for what you guys do for the NYESL. You guys don’t get paid for this, but you put in so much time and effort which not everyone sees. Your passion for the game is truly unmatched.
Once again, congratulations to the Bronx Emperors on winning this years tournament.