WILLIAMSPORT, PA (KTRE) - As students prepare to go back to schools in Lufkin, eight Lufkin Middle School students are preparing for the game of their lives.
"It is a wonderful, wonderful opportunity,'" said Jesus Gomez, the principal of LMS.
Because of the early start of school in Lufkin, the players will miss at least the first week.
"We are definitely going to miss them but we are so proud of them,' Gomez said. "So excited they are getting this opportunity to be on the world stage and represent Lufkin. They are great students. They are model students."
Depending on how long they play, they could miss the second week as well.
For teacher Kim Flores, it was something she knew would happen once the team played their first game.
"We are very excited," said Kim Flores, a Lufkin Middle School teacher. "We knew from the beginning that Williamsport was going to happen for them."
The school has assured the team that they will not be punished for the missed classes and are working on several plans including taking notes for them and giving them study hall periods when they get back.
The school district researched the issue and learned that the students would not be punished by state rules on attendance since they had not yet shown up for any class.
"We don't ever want to put a student in that position,' Gomez said. "I have assured them all that we are going to take care of them."
The same is true in Hudson for four other players.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Richard Crenshaw, the Hudson Middle School principal.
The district points out learning does not just take place in the school building.
"From the experiences they are about to have on the social level, this is a global level event for these students," Crenshaw said. "It is much more than the United States being represented here. There is so much they can take away and learn there is a very valuable learning experience for the students that they can bring back to our local communities."