SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — Opening ceremonies Thursday morning at the Little League World Series marked the start of 10 days filled with baseball in central Pennsylvania.
Opening ceremonies took place at Volunteer Stadium. 16 teams from around the U.S. and the world paraded in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
“This is really exciting, one of the most exciting things of my life,” said Ryan Duffy of the Great Lakes team.
The 16 national and international teams playing in this year’s Little League World Series paraded in front of hundreds of people while carrying banners and flags. Many of the players watched the games on television last year and say being here is a dream come true.
“When I saw my Little League team and all the great players, I thought we had a chance, but I didn’t really think we were going to get here. I knew we would get to regionals but I never thought we were going to get here,” said Jacob Dahlstrom of the Northwest team.
“It was my dream until we went to regionals. Then I saw the other teams and I thought we had a chance to make it,” Duffy added.
For the first time since 2001, two countries are making their debuts at the Little League World Series. They are the Czech Republic and Australia.
“Well, I’m so excited to be here to represent my team and my country and we have bonded all together as a family,” said Luke Houston from Australia
“What a beautiful place. Beautiful people welcoming the world,” said Australia coach Glen Tovey.
The players say they like interacting with the other teams and fans but they are most excited to play baseball.
“Just playing at the stadium, looking at the fans and having fun,” Dahlstrom said.
“The final of the last tournament,” said Miguel Arbalejo of Mexico.