Little League World Series Opening Ceremonies

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT -- Opening ceremonies for the Little League World Series were held Thursday morning.

It's the 71st annual Little League World Series and the opening ceremony was held at Volunteer Stadium.

The opening ceremony is a tradition and a special time for the players. It's the first time the fans get to see all 16 teams on the field together.

They walk out onto the field, holding their team's banner and carrying their country's or state's flag.

"This is one of the best experiences I've ever had, just being able to be here looking out over the people, it's just amazing," said Tyler Ankrum of the West Region team.

These 16 teams played a lot of baseball games to get here.

According to Little League, more than 7,000 teams played in the tournaments to try to make it to South Williamsport, so these kids are the best of the best.

"Just fun coming out here knowing that we're going to do something awesome right now," said Canada region player Sheldon Scott.

The opening ceremony is the official kickoff to the 71st Little League World Series and the fans enjoy it as much as the kids. It's the first time the crowd gets to see all 16 teams on the field together at the same time.

These 16 teams played a lot of baseball to get here. According to Little League, more than 7,000 teams played in the tournaments to try to make it to South Williamsport.

Some of the players tell Newswatch 16 they've been watching the Little League World Series their whole lives.

"Every year," said Southwest Region player Collin Ross. "It's always been a dream for me and it finally came true."

"I'm very excited," said Mexico Region player Sal Soto. "This is a dream that I had since I was little."

For some of the players, this dream come true required a lot of travel.

"Around 30, 32 hours, the whole trip," said Australia Region player Ethan Treble.

As for what the kids are most excited for -- it's baseball, of course!

"Compared to last year and it just escalated more and more. I just can't wait to get out there," Treble said.

"I'm really excited," added Ross. "I'm ready to play."

What the kids are even more excited for is the baseball. Eight of the teams play Thursday and the rest play Friday. The first game starts at 1 p.m. at Volunteer Stadium with Latin America against Mexico.

Get live scores, stats, coverage and more at WNEP.com/LLWS

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