Team-leader Hoffart seeking NYBC glory

Team-leader Hoffart seeking NYBC glory

MEMPHIS -- Preston Hoffart perfectly fits the catcher mold.

He's short, stocky and -- most importantly -- a leader.

The young backstop for the Houston Banditos Black squad is in Memphis for the third time to compete for the 2012 National Youth Baseball Championships, his first with the 12-and-under squad.

Hoffart's favorite player is the Cardinals' Yadier Molina -- another catcher with a winning pedigree. Hoffart said he takes pride in being a vocal leader, and Banditos coach Ray Deleon said Hoffart is a key part of his team.

"Catchers at this level mean a lot," Deleon said. "A catcher can make or break you on one deal."