While the Lufkin All-Stars have used their hitting and pitching to compete their way to Williamsport, Pa., their family members used creative measures and sacrifice to follow them there.
The players and coaches left for Pennsylvania on a chartered flight on Saturday, while the families were on their own to find a way there.
The parents of Chip Buchanan and Charlie Deaton booked their hotel rooms at the beginning of June, knowing it would be impossible to find a room in the town come August.
"We did it just in case, knowing we could cancel if we needed to," Jennifer Deaton said. "We're not arrogant. We know this is baseball, and they can lose. But we could cancel."
The Buchanans flew with Deaton and used the same strategy. They landed in Philadelphia and then took the three-hour drive to Williamsport.
While every players' family has sacrificed for several years to see their boys play for the greatest championship, the family of Hunter Ditsworth has worked extra hard for the past three days.
Mike Ditsworth said he has driven to Williamsport with his wife and younger son.
"Yesterday we left Tuscaloosa and we woke up in Virginia this morning," Ditsworth said."It's a long drive. My little one gets carsick, so we pull over every three hours, so we can clean out the car."
Ditsworth says it's all worth it.
"I feel like we've been doing this since T-ball, and this is the final step," Ditsworth said. "I can't wait to see my boy. Words can't describe how I feel."
Christian Mumphery's mother, Shata Specks, found a hotel in nearby Danville. She booked the room on June 19 and drove in from Pittsburgh. She and the mother of Zach Phipps, Brandie Robins, left Wednesday from Lufkin at 4 a.m.
"It's cheaper to go to a surrounding airport and then just rent a car," Specks said. "Just part of it. But it's worth it to see your child play. I'm excited. I'm ready to see him and enjoy the whole process and see new things."
Mark Requena's mother, Margie Solis made the trip on Sunday and is waiting for the rest of the family to arrive. She has been staying in Pittsburgh since then but luckily found a motel in Williamsport on Monday.
"We came up to Williamsport on Monday just to see everything," Solis said. "On the way back, we found a little motel on the side of the road and stopped and asked them if they had anything, and they had two rooms, which is exactly what we needed."
Lufkin plays the Great Lakes Regional Champions from Michigan in the first round of the Little League World Series at 6 p.m. CDT.
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