A group of 10-year-old kids like the Dixie league all-stars could be doing anything with all their free time this summer. However they decided to stay active and dedicate themselves to baseball.
"Everybody else is on vacation but these boys have been out here in 100 degree weather every day," said head coach Mike McClellan. "There were over 1100 teams in Dixie when we started and it is down to just 12 now."
The boys will represent the state of Texas at the Dixie league world series. Second baseman James Sowards says he couldn't have done it without his friends. "Having my friends on my team, they just keep me feeling good," said Sowards. "If I do something wrong or I strike out then they pick me up and it just helps me a lot."
Over the last two tournaments Nacogdoches has faced elimination twice and prevailed. Coach Mclellan says assistant Bill Bryant teaches them how to win and lose the right way though. "One of the things coach Bill talks about is there is two kinds of class, first class and no class," said McClellan. "He is just a good guy to be around and he teaches the boys more than just baseball."
These boys have beaten many odds to get to the world series. Other leagues have more kids to choose from and more money. These kids are just happy to still be playing.
"Pretty much one in a life time experience," says catcher Cole McClellan."It's just awesome."
This East Texas team will travel over 1000 miles to get to this tournament. That is a trip that does not come cheap.
"We've gotten gas cards, we've gotten cash, we've gotten water bottles for the boys," said McClellan. "Some of these people would not be able to make this trip without that kind of support and I just want to say thank you from the bottom of our heart."