Many Lufkin Little League All-Stars friends, families and fans came last week to cheer on their team in the Little League World Series but more have come since and are still making their way to Williamsport.
Lufkin Middle School Principal Jesus Gomez and his wife, Kathy, and math teacher Kim Flores, with her son Sam, arrived in town about an hour before Wednesday's game against North Carolina.
"It wasn't a possibility to come last week with school starting," Gomez said. "Once school was going it was possible."
Gomez said he had been following the team through the qualifying tournaments.
"After they won Saturday, we knew now was the time to come so we made our arrangements," he said.
Gomez said eight of the players attend his school.
"We followed the boys through every tournament and so we started making our plans and we really wanted to come out and support those boys," Flores said.
Flores said five of the players are in her classes this year. But she also has close ties to the team's manager, Bud Maddux.
"My son is an eighth-grader and Coach Bud is his coach," Flores said. "We're big Coach Bud fans. My son is too old to be on the team but he did two-a-days all summer long. He's their biggest fan as well."
Flores said the excitement has spread to her classroom.
"The kids in the classroom have been taking their notes for them and updating their notebooks and making sure they don't get behind," she said.
The Lufkin Little League board president, Casey Bowers, also made his way to Williamsport Friday.
"It was one of those deals where it was killing me not to be here," Bowers said. "I've been around these guys for a couple of years. They're great kids and I'm close with the parents."
Bowers said his work and family commitments kept him from coming to Williamsport but he's glad he's here now.
"When they made it here, I said I didn't know if I could go," Bowers said. "But I said I would try to go to the championship game. And as soon as they punched their tickets to the championship, we decided to go."
Bowers said he could see the team's potential back in league play.
"I had everyone in town before even league started asking me about them," Bowers said. "And i bragged on the talent from these kids. They've had all the talent in the world. I told everyone they have talent to go as far as Williamsport and they need to gel and work together. And they did it."
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