SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — The international teams shifted a bit this year at the Little League World Series. “Europe” and “Middle East and Africa” combined to form “Europe-Africa”, and “Australia” became its own team. Australia is one of two countries represented for the first time in the Little League World Series.
Perth Metro Central Little League has only played one game at the Little League World Series, and they’ve already made history. They have the honor of representing Australia in South Williamsport for the first time.
“It’s really exciting. The last few years, I’ve watched it on tv. Now that I’m here it’s like wow I’m really here,” Danny Ivester said.
The Australian team had the longest journey to get to South Williamsport. Perth, Australia is almost 12,000 miles away. It took the team about 36 hours to get here.
“The time difference was a little bit. It took us about three days to get over that. But once we got over that, everything is smooth sailing now. We’re having a ball,” Coach Wayne Sheldon said.
The team from Australia was the first team to qualify for this year’s Little League World Series. They found out in June they were coming to South Williamsport. Technically Australia’s baseball season is over. Right now it is winter “down under”.
“Baseball paradise! Complete climate change. It is, it’s so pretty too,” Sheldon said.
For many of the players and coaches, it is their first time in the United States.
“It’s been the people of Williamsport and everybody that’s associated with this event that’s made it special. They’ve gone above and beyond to be hospitable,” Jim Ivester said.
“It’s good to see the boys mingling with other countries. There’s not language barriers. The boys from japan and our boys are mingling like there’s no tomorrow. It’s good to see them breaking down the language barriers,” Sheldon said.
“Everyone likes our accents. So yeah, that’s cool,” Jake Sheldon said.