The holidays came early for 12-year-old Will Viera. Not only did he travel to Houston with his family in November, but he also got to play for the Chesapeake team in a national showcase against some of the country’s most talented baseball players, including the son of two-time Major League Baseball MVP Miguel Cabrera.
With a stellar performance in June and August tournaments, Will was invited to a four-game tryout during the Chesapeake All-State Games in Salisbury, Maryland. Players from Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and West Virginia faced off. Will again impressed coaches and was one of 13 kids chosen for the 12U Chesapeake team that competed in the Perfect Game National All-State Select Championship in the Houston suburb of Rosenberg, Texas.
Will has played baseball since he could walk and travel baseball for Green Hornets since 2020. He also plays soccer and basketball.
“I like to play against the best of the best,” Will said. “Being the leadoff hitter, if I can hit (the pitcher), the rest of the team can hit him.”
Will hit nearly .500 through his team’s first five games of the Perfect Game national championship tournament and he pitched.
“For a 12-year-old, he was never overwhelmed or overpowered,” said Jim Viera, Will’s father. “He always felt like he could get a hit when he stepped in the box.”
Will’s success in the tournament came as no surprise to one of his Green Hornets travel baseball coaches, Michael Kessler.
“Will is always engaged, competitive, friendly, dedicated, humorous, hardworking, and a selfless teammate with a great attitude regardless of how well he, or the team, are doing,” Kessler said. “Our Green Hornets team has won a few highly competitive tournaments and Will is undoubtedly the heart of the team, batting leadoff and playing first base like a brick wall. He has no fear in the field or at-bat and sets the tone for the team week in and week out.”
Kessler recalled one of Will’s at-bats in the championship of a tournament game last spring. Will faced “the hardest-throwing pitcher we had seen to date, by far,” Kessler said, “and probably one of the best in the area.”
Green Hornets players watched anxiously as the pitcher warmed up before the game.
“Will got up his first at-bat leading off the game, with everyone on the fence, excited for the first at-bat in a championship, but also kind of nervous about what was going to happen,” Kessler said, “and Will absolutely ripped a base hit up the middle. Everyone took a collective sigh like it was going to be OK, and we ended up winning the championship after we got to their ace pitcher. I am more than convinced that if Will struck out and came over with a look like, ‘This isn’t happening, boys,’ we would have absolutely lost that championship.”
Will enjoyed competing in Houston and doing other activities with his parents and two brothers. Together, they attended a Houston Rockets basketball game and played a baseball version of Topgolf.
One of those brothers, Tyson, assisted Will in his rehab from an arm injury that sidelined Will from the end of May through mid-July.
Will wants to make the Severna Park High School varsity team and eventually play in college and the major leagues.
He has the dedication to make that dream a possibility.
“He loves competing,” Jim said. “He is a smaller guy, but he has the heart of a lion. Everyone likes to take a picture when a bigger guy is at first base (next to Will). He doesn’t consider himself a small guy.
“Will is always positive, listening to coaches,” Jim said. “He hustles and … he is one of those kids who always has a smile.”
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