VJW's JJ Layton Heads to Little League World Series
One Valley Jr Warrior player will be missing pre-season camp this week but you won’t find anyone complaining about his absence.
JJ Layton, a member of the VJW’s ’97 Elite team, left town earlier this week to compete in the Little League World Series in Williamsport (PA) with his Peabody West squad. Just days ago, Layton celebrated alongside his teammates after a dramatic 11-7 victory over Rhode Island. The seventh-inning thriller which ended with a grand slam home run earned the Peabody West team a spot at the Little League World Series and a showdown with the Southwest Region champion, Texas West, on Friday in Williamsport.
Layton is a key member of the Peabody all-star team as he plays both third base and right field. When his baseball duties have been completed in Williamsport, Layton will return home and replace his glove and cap with his skates and jersey as the Warriors have a busy season ahead of them.
First up for the ’97 squad is the Warrior National Showcase which will be held at the Haverhill and Lawrence Valley Forums on August 27-30. The ’97 division is one of the marquee levels as the Warriors will face off against a field of 10 teams from across the Northeast including the Boston Jr Eagles, Dual State Huskies, Neponset Valley River Rats, Northstar Selects, Red Rangers, Rhode Island Saints and Washington Little Capitals.
“We are so proud of JJ and we wish the entire Peabody West team the best of luck in Williamsport,” said Fred Devereaux, the VJW director of player development. “We always encourage our players to participate in other sports so that they have a broad range of experiences. The lessons he will learn at the Little League World Series will no doubt make him an even better hockey player.”
To Devereaux’s point, hockey and baseball have been successfully linked for years. One of the most famous dual-sport athletes was Chris Drury, the current captain of the New York Rangers. As a child, Drury led his Trumball (CT) team to victory at the 1989 Little League World Series. Earlier that season, Drury won a national peewee championship with his hockey team from Bridgeport.
When asked what he will say if interviewed by ESPN (which will be televising the games), Layton responded with a smile.
"Next stop Regionals with my Valley Jr Warriors hockey team."
On behalf of the Valley Jr Warriors, we wish JJ Layton and the entire Peabody West team the best of luck in Williamsport.