Long Beach’s Kevin Castillo among those selected for USA Jr. Men’s Team

Kevin Castillo (son of Paul Castillo) of Long Beach, California was among the players making the final cut for the USA Jr. Men’s team that will travel to Prince Edward Island, Canada next summer to represent the United States. Paul is a member of the baseball team at Long Beach Poly High School, the same school that produced the great Tony Gwynn, and has learned the game of fastpitch from his father Paul, a longtime player from the Long Beach area, nicknamed “the guru” by his former teammates on the El Segundo Rounders. Also among the players selected were a few more with “fastpitch genes”, Curtis Leavitt (son of 1981 ISC World Champion Camarillo Kings catcher Jerry Leavitt) B.J. Hunhoff (nephew of pitcher Tony Hunhoff), and Nick Santos, son of Pueblo Bandit catcher, Jerry Santos and nephew of Pueblo Bandits field manager and sponsor, Chris Santos. Nick Santos and B.J. Hunhoff are alternates for 2005, but only 15 years old and will still be still eligible for the next cycle in 2009.

Fastpitchwest congratulates these young players who will proudly wear “USA” across their chests and wish them well in the international competition. What a great opportunity for these young players. If you wish to learn a bit more about the members of the team, be sure to visit our “USA Jr. Men” team pages, complete with photos:

The USA Jr. Men’s team issued the following press release yesterday:

Oklahoma City, OK—USA Softball has announced the roster for its 2005 Junior Men’s National Team that will represent the United States at the 2005 ISF Junior Men’s World Championship in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada, June 22-July 1. These players were selected after a year long process that involved tryouts, various training camps and evaluation at the ASA National Championships.

The 17 players selected for the 2005 Junior Men’s National Team are:

Matt Bezzant (Cedar Hills, UT); Drew Bode (Prairie de Chien, WI); Mike Bowden (Aurora, IL); Kevin Castillo (Long Beach, CA); Kyle Davis (Sioux Falls, SD); Bobby Donley (Templeton, CA); Brandon Huerta (Atascadero, CA); John Kelly (Chester, IA); Sean Krohse (Sioux Falls, SD); Curtis Leavitt (Acton, CA); Jason Loe (Sioux Falls, SD); Brian Malakowsky (Wells, MN); Andy Mathews (Cameron, WI); Bobby Olson (Amboy, MN); Evan O’Reilly (San Luis Obispo, CA); Zach Warne (Sioux Falls, SD) and Riley White (Lehi, UT)

Alternates are Camden Decker (Aurora, IL), B.J. Hunhoff (Harrisburg, SD) and Nick Santos (Pueblo, CO).

The coaches selected to lead this team are head coach Tim Lyon (South Jordan, UT), assistant coach Gary Mullican (Aliso Viejo, CA) and assistant coach Scott Standerfer (Charleston, IL).

The USA Junior Men’s National Team will attempt to win its first medal at a World Championship since 1985. Despite winning silver medals at the first two (1981 and 1985) ISF Junior Men’s World Championships, the USA Junior Men have been unable to reach the medal stand in the last four World Championships finishing a disappointing eighth in 2001 in Sydney, Australia with a record of 2-7.

“I am excited at the opportunity to build the USA Junior Men’s program back to where it belongs, at the top of the top,” said head coach Tim Lyon. “We have worked extremely hard to put together the best possible team to represent the U.S. at next year’s World Championship.”

The Junior Men’s World Championship, which is held every four years and is comprised of teams whose players are 19-years-old or younger, represents the highest level of international competition for junior men’s fast pitch softball.

The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. As the National Governing Body, the ASA is responsible for identifying, selecting and training male and female athletes to compete in World, Pan American and Olympic competitions. In addition to those duties, the ASA conducts the only recognized National Championship competitions in the United States.

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