Love for Lufkin All-Stars stretches all the way to Pennsylvania locals

Jack Walter from Pennsylvania
Jack Walter from Pennsylvania
James Paulette of Angelton, Texas
James Paulette of Angelton, Texas

WILLIAMSPORT, PA (KTRE) - The Lufkin Little League All-Stars captured the hearts of East Texans weeks ago. But in Pennsylvania, regulars are looking for a team to cheer on and they're finding viable candidates in the Thundering 13.

Billy Kujala is from Pollok but has been working near Williamsport since November. He was a little homesick, so when Lufkin made the World Series, he knew what he was doing on game days.

"We have a lot of pride in our state, so to get to spread it around is awesome," Kujula said.

James Paulette played baseball with manager Bud Maddux, and this trip has been something special.

"We made these plans in January and we were coming here so for them to make make the World Series and us already having plans to come it is just incredible," Paulette said.

The team is doing more than exciting East Texans. The Little League gift shops have been busy with many fans buying up the yellow and orange.

"They're a good team," said Drew Foley of Buffalo, NY. "Go Southwest. They got good hitters."

"They keep playing no matter if they are down and out," said Amanda Jones of Berwick, Pa. "They come back no matter what."

Little Vito is a cancer survivor and is from Philly but loves the Thundering 13 after a family member from the team gave him a rally towel.

That same hospitality was shown to the Levis family while the boys were practicing.

"They took pictures with us and really created fans for life for these two boys," said Sarah Levis. "They enjoyed getting to meet the guys and they were nice. They are like little MLB players, so it really gives my boys some inspirations."

"I'm not going to say it is me," Maddux said. "It is those players that they love and that is great. They've taken them in and they appreciate the way they play the game."

So whether they are from East Texas or Pennsylvania, there will be plenty of people rooting for the hometown boys.

"I'm hoping they just have a really good game defensively, and they just keep hitting bombs everywhere and keep throwing strikes," said Jack Walter of Pennsylvania.

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