The Daniel Boone Little League Softball team was honored at Friday night’s football game at Daniel Boone High School by the people who have been cheering them along their entire journey.
The hometown heroes just returned from competing in the Little League World Series.
They say they’re thankful to the community for all the support.
“Giving us encouragement and saying ‘you’re making our community proud’ made the girls feel really strong,” says head coach Lori Jenkins.
Two weeks ago the girls took the big stage, beating out every team in the southeast region to compete among the best teams in the world.
“I’m really proud of our team. We got top 10 in the world and even though we might not have finished first, we actually got to the world series. So that’s a pretty big accomplishment,” says catcher Kyleigh Bacon.
The team says the whole experience has been surreal.
“When we got on the plane we were like, this is really happening?” says Ava Saul, third base.
Coach Jenkins echoed that sentiment. “It’s been such an amazing experience that you’re in the moment and you’re thinking ‘wow we’re really here’ and then now that we’re back home I was like ‘man did that really happen?'”
They say competing at this level only made them better as individual players and as a team.
“You can’t really think about all the big stage and stuff you just have to really focus on playing softball,” says Bacon.
It also allowed them to meet people just like them from all over the world.
“Half the time we couldn’t really understand them but it was really cool to use the translator to talk to them and know what they were saying and we learned a little different languages,” says Josi Jenkins, short stop.
The girls finished in the top 8 in the world series and are already looking forward to going back.
“I think we can make it back there and win it all next year,” says Saul.
They plan to be world champions this time next year. Coach Jenkins says they will only lose two players, which gives them good odds. But still, they will have to put in the work.
“When you’re on the top you gotta work harder to stay on the top. So we’re gonna have to really work hard if we wanna make it back there,” says Coach Jenkins.
The team says this turned out to be an all around experience they won’t soon forget.
“We have to do the same thing we did this year work hard have fun and play together,” says Josi Jenkins.