Wednesday, October 5, 2022

This group of 8-year-olds is heading to the World Series

The local Williamsburg All Stars baseball team is heading to the Babe Ruth World Series on Monday. (WYDaily/Courtesy Amy Rains)
The local Williamsburg All Stars baseball team is heading to the Babe Ruth World Series on Monday. (WYDaily/Courtesy Amy Rains)

A local baseball team is heading to Florida for the World Series— but not without parental supervision.

The All Stars baseball league for 8-year-olds were champions at the Babe Ruth Southeast Regional in July, winning against teams from across the state, and will be moving onto the Babe Ruth Baseball World Series in Florida on Monday.

“These are exceptionally talented little guys,” said Amy Rains, the team’s head coach and a parent. “They really have pieced together the complexity of baseball that you see in older kids and clearly they’re succeeding.”

At the beginning of the season, most of the boys had never played together, Rains said, but now the team and the parents have become like a family.

The team is comprised of 13 players who practice for two hours, four nights a week. These little players put in work on the weekends, too, heading to competitions throughout Virginia.

Earlier in the season, the team started strong by winning the district tournament and advancing to the state tournament. At the state level, they competed against other teams from Northern and Southwest Virginia. Rains said from that point the team got the bid to the Southeast Regional Tournament where they played against teams from Georgia, North Carolina and as far away as the Dominican Republic. 

The team ended up becoming Southeast Regional champions, which placed them in a spot for the World Series. 

“I would quote my son to say that this is the single best accomplishment of his entire life,” Rains said. “It’s really rare to win all of these tournaments and get this far because you have to come out victorious several times.”

But the path to victory isn’t always easy. These players have lost some games and had their little hearts broken, Rains said. When that happens, it helps them grow as athletes because they learn to process that loss and bounce back.

None of that would be possible without the support of the players’ parents. Rains said for her and other parents, the amount of time and effort getting their children to and from the tournaments and practices makes it hard to maintain a decent work and life balance.

What helps get them through it is the support of each other and knowing they can rely on the other parents if they need to.

Rains said it is amazing to see these young boys so dedicated to the sport.

“Most 8-year-olds aren’t this passionate about something,” she said. “This group has so much love for the game, otherwise they wouldn’t have gotten as far as they have.”

Rains said many of the players will continue to play baseball through high school most likely. She added they put in more time and effort into baseball that is surprising for people their age.

Still, the most important aspect is fun. Before games, she said the coaches like to play music so the boys can dance around and loosen up.

“Because having fun is what makes it worth it,” Rains said. “That’s when they play the best and feel the best.”

Alexa Doironhttp://wydaily.com
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at alexa@localvoicemedia.com.

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