Fast-rising Topeka Toros not resting on NAFA laurels

Written by Bob on August 7th, 2012


2011 Topeka Toros men’s fastpitch team. Contributed photo

“We have had a pretty successful season so far (but) we believe our best ball is ahead of us.” – Toros Manager, Josh White

TOPEKA, KS – The climb has been fast and the destination reached. But the Topeka Toros men’s fastpitch team desires far more.

Since their inaugural 2007 season, the Toros have claimed a NAFA World Series championship with some top-five finishes as well.

But a defining moment does stand out that helped make that NAFA success possible.

RECRUIT KEY PITCHER

“About halfway through the 2007 season, I was able to get (pitcher) Tony Buckley to come out of (a five year) retirement,” said Toros’ Manager Josh White. “Tony has been a big key to our success over the years.”


The Toros had a respectable 2008 campaign, taking fifth in the NAFA World Series A-Major and fourth in the ASA Class A National Championship.

But 2009 was a breakout year.

The Toros won 6-of-7 tournaments and swept through the NAFA World Series with a 6-0 record to claim the A-Major title behind the pitching of Buckley and Brian Younger.

With Buckley anchoring the pitching staff, the Toros went on to finish second in the AA-Major World Series in 2010, along with a fifth place in the 2011 AA divisions.

NAFA AND ISC II SUCCESS
But the Toros reach went beyond NAFA.

In their first venture into the International Softball Congress (ISC) World Tournament, they finished second in the 2011 ISC II Tournament of Champions. The Toros finished 5-3 and lost the title game to Stock Pack of Ashland, Ohio, 4-0.

But White and the Toros are far from satisfied.

This year the NAFA World Series is in their own backyard: Topeka. And as the host team (competing in the AA and AA-Major divisions), they’ve set their destination high. Not only in the World Series, but the ASA Class A National Championship in Mankato, MN as well (Sept. 1-2).

“I fully expect to win one if not all of the events,” White said.

COUNTING ON BUCKLEY, SIOLO AND YOUNGER
To do so, the pitching once again must step up. Buckley remains a vital cog. But he has help. New Zealander Zane Siolo returned for his second season with the Toros, along with Brian Younger.

“Zane helped lead the way to our second place finish in the (2011) ISC II,” White said. “And Brian Younger has been an integral cog to the pitching rotation over the last several years as well. But ultimately, Tony Buckley is the key to our success.”

However, pitching alone doesn’t bring home championships. The Toros other assets – defense, hitting and speed – must support the pitching staff.

TALENTY APLENTY
On the base paths, Jared Pinkerton, Boomer Berry, Jaime Garcia, Jr., Jordan Garcia and Matt Chambers provide the speed. While power hitters Chris Leaf, Troy Proctor and Dean Jordan swing the bats to drive in the runs.

And on defense the Toros are solid up the middle with White and Dwayne Corcoran catching, Kyle Brown patrolling shortstop, Berry anchoring second base, and Jaime Garcia, Jr. in centerfield catching anything within his reach.

“The strength of our team is defense and speed, and of course pitching,” White said.

GREAT REGULAR SEASON
So far, the 2012 season has been a good one. The Toros have a 28-9 record, placing first in the Omaha (NE) NAFA qualifier, along with finishing second in both the Kelso (MO) Klassic, and Hermann (MO) Black & Gold tournaments.

“We have had a pretty successful season so far,” White said. “But we believe our best ball is ahead of us.”

KEY GROUPS MAKE WORLD SERIES POSSIBLE
Ahead of the Toros lies the NAFA World Series (Aug. 9-19). Held in the Toro’s own backyard, and capably planned by the Topeka Parks & Recreation Department, and Visit Topeka organization. Along with a host of NAFA officials and volunteers.

And White has been involved with much of it as the Kansas NAFA Representative.

“We feel honored to play host to NAFA’s 20th year anniversary (1993-2012),” he said. “From the start (all the organizations) have been very enthusiastic about the event and have put in many hours behind the scenes to make sure this World Series is a good one. We look forward to hosting the teams from far and wide, and hope they all enjoy the tournament.”

    The 2012 Topeka Toros:
    Boomer Berry
    Dean Boyles
    Kyle Brown
    Niran Buckley
    Tony Buckley
    Matt Chambers
    Dwayne Corcoran
    David Garcia
    Jaime Garcia, Jr.
    Jordan Garcia
    Rico Garcia
    Dean Jordan
    Chris Leaf
    Jared Pinkerton
    Troy Proctor
    Zane Siolo
    Brian Younger
    Josh White, manager
    Bob Munoz, coach
    Terry White, coach

To keep up with the latest results and news about the 2012 NAFA World Series, visit Play NAFA

1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Bob says:

    Go Toros! You guys are awesome. 1999 topeka area hitting champ Josh White is a baller!

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