A Loudoun County Little League team is about to do something no team from Virginia has done in 25 years: play in the Little League World Series.
The team heads to Williamsport, Pennsylvania on Saturday as it awaits a match up against a still unknown opponent. The World Series game is set for Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m really excited to get this opportunity to go to Williamsport with this amazing team,” said Matt Coleman, 11, who plays first base.
At a baseball field in Aldie, Virginia, Friday, as the team practiced their throws, most of the players admitted the upcoming match is occupying their minds.
At the ripe old age of 12, Noah Culpepper said he’s been dreaming about going to the Little League World Series since he was 4 years old.
“I just love playing on the big stage. How’s it gonna feel? Is it going to be really nice?” Culpepper said with a smile.
When they arrive in Williamsport, the team will have a full plate of events. They’ll even get a feel of the big leagues when they get their own custom gear and uniforms, which are provided by the game’s sponsor.
“Just never been prouder of a group of kids,” said the coach Alan Bowden.
The team lost early in the district tournament, so Bowden said they had to “scratch and claw” their way back this season.
Bowden said the team is made up of confident kids who, he believes, have what it takes to be victorious in Williamsport.
“We always say we’ll win with class and lose with dignity, but then I always say, ‘Are we going to lose?’ And they say ‘No,’” Bowden said.
“Of course we’d like to win, but just the experience at this point, honestly, is gonna be a once in a life time opportunity and I’m just glad the kids get to experience it,” said Joe Soricelli, president of Loudoun South Little League.
Regardless of how the game turns out, Chase Obstegarten, 12, said this season has shown the team how well they can play.
“We just have a tough team,” Obstegarten said
Now, the team will get a chance to demonstrate that on a world stage.