Avoyelles American Junior League team will travel to New Mexico to compete in Southwest Regionals
BUNKIE, La. (KALB) - Being a state champion is not something everyone can say they are, but the Avoyelles American All-Star Junior League team can for two years in a row, but this time it means a little more.
“We won it last year, but they didn’t have this deal,” said Avoyelles American assistant coach John Fletcher. “They didn’t have the regionals because of COVID. So that group didn’t go on and that is the advantage this group has. They won it this year, and we get to advance to the regional round.”
On July 17, the best players in the Avoyelles Parish ages 13-14 took the field and came home as champions in Broussard, La.
“It was a crazy experience even getting picked to be on the team, and the cherry on top was winning state with people I never really knew before,” said Avoyelles American player Dominic Palermo. “I met a bunch of people, and we became friends and team chemistry is one of the reasons why we won the state title.”
The competition does not stop at winning the state championship.
The team is preparing for their first business trip out of the state to New Mexico to play in the Southwest Regionals with a new team name, Louisiana.
Before they pack their bags and get on the bus, it is time to get to work.
“We are going to compete,” Fletcher. “I have had this conversation with them several times. This is a business trip. We are going to play to win. We want to have some fun on the way.”
“I want them to understand that we are not just going over there to run around and catch a few ground balls, throw a few balls and come home,” said Fletcher. “If we get beat, we get beat, but we are going over there to compete.”
The team is putting in the work by practicing for hours and hours each day on their hitting, catching and pitching skills.
“We are picking up the intensity of everything because it is going to be better teams and more intensity on the field,” said Avoyelles American player Cain Milligan. “I am really excited to spend time with my team, that is the best part of it all.”
The Avoyelles Parish community has stepped in and fundraised thousands of dollars for Team Louisiana, and in just one week, all travel expenses have been paid for every player.
The team will start their journey through the next round on August 4 as they will take their talents to the national stage in Albuquerque, New Mexico against Colorado.
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