Va. champ Loudoun South Little League team heads to regionals, eyes Williamsport

Fresh off winning the state championship, a team of 12-year-old Little Leaguers from Loudoun County, Virginia, will soon head to Georgia for the U.S. Southeast Regionals as they’re one step away from every young player’s dream, a trip to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for the Little League World Series.

”They’re all terribly excited,” said Todd Coleman, coach of the  Loudoun South Little League all-stars, as the team began one of its final practices at Lions Field, before leaving for Georgia. The Southeast Regionals run from Aug. 4-9 in Warner Robins, Georgia.

“We’re going to compete against the state champions from seven other states and the winner goes to Williamsport,” said Coleman.

Northern Virginia was well-represented in the state championship, said Coleman: “You had West Springfield, Vienna, Fairfax and us.” Loudoun South defeated Vienna in the state championship game.

Virginia champ Loudoun South Little League heads to regionals

In 2019, a team from Loudoun South made it to the semifinals of the Little League World Series, in Williamsport.

“They all watched that and they all are terribly excited,” said Coleman. “We’re just trying to keep the distractions to a minimum.”

However, since the games in Williamsport will be broadcast on ESPN, Coleman acknowledges the kids realize what’s at stake.

“This week at practice, they’ve been distracted because they have to fill out all these information forms about their favorite food, and their favorite sports heroes” — elements that would be incorporated in a television broadcast, if the team gets to Williamsport.

As they prepare for the regional championship and perhaps the Little League World Series, Coleman remembers the players are 12 years old: “They’re still kids, right?”

Before practice, players help the coach prepare the field, raking the infield just as they did throughout the season.

“We try to keep kind of a loose, relaxed environment,” said Coleman. “They put enough pressure on themselves and the situation puts a lot of pressure on them.”

Loudoun South’s first game in the regional championships is set for Thursday night, Aug. 4, against the North Carolina champion Bull City Little League from Durham.

“This week they’ve been kind of distracted,” said Coleman. “This group, when they hit the baseball field, they know the opportunity they have in front of them and they bear down and definitely play above their age.”

Heading to the regionals, Coleman and his fellow coaches are reminding the team: “The field is the same size, the ball weighs the same, the bat weighs the same.”

Loudoun South coach says 12-year old players are 'terribly excited'

 

The excitement of closing in on the chance of a Little League World Series appearance is difficult to completely tamp down, Coleman said.

“It’s all the same game. It’s just gonna be in a different place, with a little bit brighter lights, you know?”

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