STONE RIDGE, Va. — The Loudoun County community is beaming with pride now that Loudoun South is heading to the Little League World Series. It's the first time in 25 years that a team from Virginia has made the cut.
“This is just surreal. It seems unimaginable," said Heather Harris, whose son plays on the team. "You say to yourself 'oh Little League World Series,' but that’s just so far off.”
Last year, Loudoun South just missed getting into the series after they lost to Peachtree City (Georgia), the very team they beat this year.
“I was in shock. I couldn’t believe we did it," said Matt Coleman, an 11-year-old who plays first base for the team.
The team got together for its last practice Friday night before leaving for Williamsport Saturday.
“It would have been a dream of mine, and I know his to go this far," said a former player.
He and his friend have been cheering on the team the entire season.
“It’s honestly one of the coolest things in the world," said his friend. "We’re so excited for them. We’re rooting them on, and we just can’t wait to see them do good.”
The rest of the community has rallied around the 11 and 12-year-olds, too.
The local watering holes have hosted watch parties, and one, Social House, has even named a drink after the team.
“We found out the boys were trying to get into the Little League World Series, came up with a drink for them…called the Big Red Machine," said Joseph Russo, the bar manager at Social House. "Woohoo go team!”
Some crews are following the boys to Williamsport and others will be cheering from back at home.
Regardless, this Loudoun South team will go down in history.
“It’s just been incredible. The fan base that’s been behind us. ..this Loudoun South community has really rallied around one team," said Harris. "Everybody is on our side. There is no jealousy. And I just love the impact that this has on the community.”
She said she thinks it's finally sinking in for the players, too.
“I’m just happy I get this opportunity," said Coleman.
The team's first game will be on Thursday.