Talk to any 12-year-old Little Leaguer, from anywhere in the world, and their one wish is likely to earn a trip to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to play in the Little League World Series. To most Little Leaguers, Williamsport is a dream - a Mecca - a place where you can earn the title "World Champion".
"Williamsport is the goal of every Little Leaguer," commented Matt Morrow, the Dunedin Major All Stars' Manager. "Our kids played their hearts out. We won 13 games through Districts, Sectionals and States. We won all three titles and the chance to earn a trip to Williamsport. We came up just one game short of fulfilling our dream."
Dunedin's All Stars, which represented the State of Florida in the Southeast Regional lost to Georgia's All Stars from Northern Little League in Columbus, Georgia. Led by Georgia's Kyle Carter's 81 mph fastball, Georgia defeated Dunedin in the Regional Final by a score of 5-0, a game televised nationally on ESPN. Dunedin beat the State Champions from Tennessee, West Virginia and North Carolina to qualify for the Regional Championship game.
"Our kids probably won't comprehend just how far they went or how much they accomplished until they get a little older," added Morrow. The Florida State Championship is one of the toughest titles to earn. District 12 is probably the toughest District in the State."
Despite their loss to Georgia, the Dunedin All Stars put up some pretty impressive statistics beyond their 15 game winning streak. The team scored a total of 135 runs versus 46 runs scored against them in their 18 games with only 2 losses.
Added Morrow, "I can't say enough about the support we received too. The Florida stands were always filled, and it was great seeing familiar faces from teams we competed against during Districts, Sections and the State Championship - all of them in Gulfport cheering us on. We are really fortunate to live in a baseball community. We may not have fulfilled our ultimate goal, but we are District, Sectional and State Champions. That is a pretty nice summer."
Dunedin had three 11-year-old starters on this year's team. For them, the dream is still alive.
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