Cole Bannan helped lead the HLBA's 9-year-old all stars to first place in the District 5 tournament. For his pitching and hitting prowess, Bannan was named the tourney's Most Valuable Player.

By the time this year’s District Five Cal Ripken Tournament came to a close on Friday, Honesdale and Forest City had developed quite a rivalry.

The HLBA All Stars battled the young Foresters three times in this double elimination tournament before finally capturing the 9-year-old bracket title.

Under the direction of coach Frank Bannan, the local lads closed out the series with a 5-1 championship game triumph.

Frank’s son, Cole, proved to be one of the main reasons for Honesdale’s advancing to the PA state tournament.

Cole starred on the hill, in the field and at the plate. en route to the 2012 Most Valuable Player award. He sealed the deal on his team’s final victory by pitching five strong innings and crushing a solo homer with one out in the bottom of the fifth.

“I’m pretty excited about states,” Cole said. “I?really like being part of this team with all my friends.”

Bannan is a New York Yankees fan and his favorite player is Curtis Granderson. He also plays basketball and loves to hunt &?fish with his Dad. In fact, Cole bagged a 7-point buck just last year while participating in the PA Youth Mentored Hunting Program.

Cole is the son of Frank & Heather Bannan. He’s 9-years-old and headed into the fifth grade at Lakeside Elementary School.