LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After winning the U.S. Championship this past August in Williamsport, PA, city leaders are expecting to field more teams in the upcoming Little League season.
Monday marked the beginning of the registration process for people wanting to sign their family up for Little League baseball. This is also the first year that the Parks and Recreation Department will be accepting applications and payment over the phone as well as online. Matt Hubert has been a busy man.
He is getting ready for the start of youth basketball, and still recovering from the work he did for the city league with the Little League World Series.
"We are really five months out from rolling the ball out on post season play," Hubert said.
Ever since the Thundering 13 brought home a U.S. Championship, the city has seen a lot more interest.
"I have been here just a little over 2 1/2 years and by far this year we got more phone calls prior to December about when registration was," Hubert said.
The league had been averaging 6 teams for the age group that gets a chance to play in Williamsport. This year they could expand to 8 teams.
"I think we will see more kids at all the levels and that includes tee-ball," Hubert said. "We normally have 13 teams. We could see even more teams this year.
There is no promise of getting back to the grand stage, but Hubert understands why this championship could inspire others and he hopes they can experience what last years
"Parents and guardians are just excited about an opportunity just to be a part of it," Hubert said. "What happened this past summer was magical. If I could sprinkle magic dust to give every kid an opportunity that those 13 young men and three coaches got to experience then I would do it in a heart beat."
Hubert added what makes the league such an easy option for many people is how affordable it is.
"If you look at who we play, we are reasonable," Hubert said. "We are about $40 cheaper than other leagues in the state. We want to make this available for everyone to come out and have fun. We also have scholarships."
Registration runs through Feb.16.
Prep 4 yr old - $60
T-Ball - $75
Coach Pitch & up - $85
($10 discount for additional siblings)
The league begins March 19.