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 HotelPlanner.com 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."