YORKTOWN — The York County Little League 9-11 All-Star team finished undefeated in the 9-11 Baseball State Tournament last week to earn a state championship title and is slated to play in the Tournament of State Champions in North Carolina at the end of the month.
The team went 6-0 and outscored their opponents 83-10. Its final game in the tourney was against highly-favored West Springfield Little League. Ayden Allsbrook pitched a complete game, striking out six and walking two. York County came out on top with a final score of 7-6.
The last little league state championship team in York County was nearly 20 years ago. The 2023 9-11 All-Star team is the first of that age group to win the state championship for York County.
Nick Ham, team manager, still thinks fondly of his time playing little league, and to now coach his son and teammates to a championship victory means a lot. Ham and his assistant coaches, Chris Allsbrook and Nate Leach, are trying their best to remind the boys how special this moment is.
“This is something that a lot of people can’t say that what they’ve done is become a state champion little league player. It’s a rare feat and a great opportunity for these kids who work so hard. They definitely earned it,” Ham said.
Members of the state championship team are Ayden Allsbrook, Harper Bailey, Rylan Butler, Brody Drewry, Trent Drewry, Jackson Ham, Parker Humphreys, Griffin Leach, Jaxson Morgan, Trever Tenkley, Adrian Thompson, and Will Warren.
Beginning the weekend on July 28, the 9-11 team will be in Wilson, North Carolina, to play in the Tournament of State Champions against Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia.
Virginia will kick off play July 29 against Florida, then faces South Carolina on July 30 and Georgia on July 31. If Team Virginia finishes over .500, it will enter the playoff picture, with quarter and semifinal games slated for Aug. 1. The championship game is set for Aug 2.
“We’re going into the tournament knowing that we’re going to see some pretty good competition. I think if we play the way that we played in the championship game and the way we know we’re able to play, we should be competitive and come away with some wins and possibly make another run,” Ham said.
If Team Virginia is victorious, it will bring the Southeast Regional Championship title home to Yorktown.
To offset the cost of attending the tournament, the team has started a GoFundMe for travel and lodging expenses. The goal is to raise $12,500.
Just getting to the tourney is a special moment for the team.
“This experience is something that the boys will remember forever regardless of whether they play baseball next year, or in high school, or college. They will always remember their little league summer,” Ham said.
Overall, Ham and the coaching staff are proud of the kids for overcoming its challenges this season and bringing home a title.
“We talked to the kids after we won the state about the mindset and that being a champion is something to be proud of. Nobody can guarantee and not all people have the opportunity to experience what they did,” Ham said.
Plans to livestream the tournament are ongoing. For up-to-date information on the livestream, check out the York County Little League Facebook page.