WACO, Texas (AP) - The Lufkin All-Stars are on the eve of their first game in the Southwest Regional Tournament against the Colorado All-Stars.
The team left Lufkin this morning. The majority of the players all rode together. The team arrived mid-morning and started their check-in process. The road has been, long, hot and wet, with the 13 team members practicing twice a day, six days a week through the summer.
"All the other kids are swimming in the pool and doing all sorts of other stuff like the trampoline park," said pitcher Chip Buchanan. "With us, you just have to base your everything on this because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You just have to give it your all."
The team has 39 home runs through nine previous games. Under Manager Bud Maddux, the team has developed their skills to where they expect to win.
"It's been hard," said catcher Charlie Deaton. "It's been challenging, but we needed it. I am a little nervous, but you kind of have to be. It's a big tournament. To win would be a lot because it would be the only Lufkin team to go that far."
The team knows how important Williamsport is but first they have to get through a regional tournament with teams from West Texas, Colorado, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.
"I'm ready and I'm excited," said 2nd baseman Malcolm Deason. "I am ready to play. We are good enough to win it all and make it to Williamsport. It's been fun, It's been hot, but we have to work through it."