Parents reflect on journey to Little League World Series

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SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s the final countdown for two national teams at the Little League World Series. The Southwest Region champions go head to head with the West Region champions on Saturday.

It’s the final weekend of the Little League World Series. Fans from all over the country are arriving to watch the U.S. championship game between the West Region champions and the Southwest Region champions. Parents of the players say the teams have worked hard to get to this final national game.

“These kids play year-round. They practice all the time. They’re on travel teams. They’re up early in the morning. They give up parties. They give up going to do things. They’re playing ball,” parent Michelle Hickey said.

“They’ve worked very hard to get here. They’ve been- as a team, they’ve been practicing two-a-days, seven days a week sometimes. They’ve been away from home now for 24 days so it’s been a long road,” Robyn Lung, the wife of a West Region coach, said.

The West Region won last year, but the Little League team was Oahu. This is the first time this year’s West Region, the Central East Maui Little League team, is playing on this level. Chrissie Castro, whose son plays on the West Region champion team, says the team has big shoes to fill.

“So, even more, they wanna bring it home,” Castro said.

But fans say Southwest is ready to challenge the West Region’s previous win.

“They’re good. They’re good. So Hawaii is going to have a lot more to handle tonight in the first game,” Southwest fan Fred Frazier said.

“Root for the underdogs. Beat Hawaii,” Southwest fan Blake Wanger said.

No matter who wins or loses, playing in the biggest Little League game in the country is something parents and players will not forget.

“We watched this every year on TV. We always used to wonder what is it like? Now we know,” Castro said.

“I couldn’t imagine anything like this. I always dreamed of this when I was a little boy growing up and not having an opportunity to get anywhere like this. It’s a once in a lifetime event,” parent Frank Andrade said.

“It’s awesome. It’s overwhelming,” parent Lance Matsubayashi said.

“I asked him if he was ready to come home. He said ‘not yet’,” Castro said.

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