GMBL’s Halloween Havoc Opens Tomorrow With 65-team Field

October 24 - The Greater Manassas Baseball League’s fifth annual Halloween Havoc will begin play tomorrow night with 65 teams competing for championships in six age divisions at the four-day tournament.

Pool play will run through Saturday and bracket play will be held on Sunday, with all games played at the E.G. Smith Complex, the home of GMBL, as well as at Jennie Dean Elementary in Manassas. Tournament organizers are hoping the weather will cooperate after several championship games were cancelled due to rain last year.

The Halloween Havoc is one of four annual tournaments hosted by the GMBL, with all proceeds directed to the league’s general fund. The tournament has nearly tripled in size since fielding two dozen teams when held for the first time in 2014. The tournament’s co-directors, Matt and Samantha Eidemiller, along with field directors Ray Walker and Calvin Rhodes lead a large staff of volunteers that assist in the tournament’s operations.

“We are really excited to be able to host a large tournament in Northern Virginia for all of the DMV,” said Colby Poteat, GMBL’s vice president of baseball. “It should be a great weekend, and it couldn't be done without all of the volunteers that have put in their time and effort.

“So much goes into running a successful, large tournament and all of it is done by volunteers,” Poteat said. “Everything you will see this weekend was done by volunteers.”

This year, the tournament’s 11U and 12U brackets are the biggest, with 14 and 16 teams entered, respectively. Those two age divisions could be the most hotly-contested, with several talented teams entered.  

In the 11U division, coach Alan Bowden’s Loudoun South Eagles were the magazine’s Youth Travel Team of the Year in 2017 and won the Halloween Havoc’s 10U division title last fall. They are 18-4 this fall and 38-9 overall this year.

Other top 11U teams include coach Scott Munchel’s Cavalry Baseball (17-3 this fall), coach Adam Sisk’s Marucci Stars (12-4), coach Deven Majkowski’s Marucci Stars (8-2), coach Sean Cheetham’s EvoShield Canes (10-7), and perhaps the leading candidate for this year’s Youth Travel Team of the Year, coach Shawn Camp’s Marucci Stars (22-0), who have won 51 straight games and nine consecutive tournaments dating back to April. Another team to watch is coach Mike Colangelo’s Marucci Stars (12-2), a 10U team playing up an age level in the tournament.

The 12U division also appears to be deep with contending teams, a group led by coach Denny Petrella’s Potomac Riverdogs Blue (16-5). Other teams to watch include Poteat’s Manassas Cavalry Blue, the Fauquier Freeze, Vienna Red Fury, Aldie Senators and the Reston Warriors Black. The Cavalry Blue and coach Shawn Kempton’s Marucci Stars advanced to the 11U final last year, but the contest was one of the championship games that were rained out.

The tournament’s schedule is posted here and will be updated throughout the weekend.