LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It was a Sunday morning in Lufkin, Texas and for once church had some competition. The Southwest Little League Baseball team was facing off against the team from Connecticut. People all over East Texas were tuning into watch.
"It means a lot," said spectator, Dan Heschem. "And, it means a lot to me to be able to come here and watch them play, that they're representing Lufkin, Texas. It's a kids dream."
This particular watch party was a special treat for the community. Buffalo Wild Wings in Lufkin opened their doors an hour earlier than normal to host the avid fans. According to the assistant general manager, Doug Boyd, the popular chain was more than happy to help people watch the game.
"We're here for all of the community, all local events, even the big events," said Boyd. "We kind of cater to this town. We're here for Lufkin. We're a proud sponsor of the Little League Team."
The game was at the halfway mark, with the score tied, and the crowd was proudly displaying their bright orange rally towels. The CFO for Brookshire Brother's, Clay Oliver said that the towels sold by the grocery store company give financial help to the All-stars families.
"When we heard that they had made it, we knew that there was going to be some significant costs for the families to travel up there," said Clay Oliver. "Little League actually covers the cost of the boys and the coaches, but we knew we had to rally together to raise some funds."
Oliver not only represents Brookshire Brothers, but is a past coach of some of the Lufkin boys. He proudly watched the Thundering Thirteen dominate their competition and bring home the win.
"It's really special for me because I've coached a lot of these boys in the past, and I know the amount of effort that they've put into it," said Oliver. "So, it means a lot to me to be able to help the guys out."
Southwest will go head to head against the Southeast team Wednesday evening.