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Tar Heel 12's: a summer to remember

TUES. | 10-26-21 | SPORTS

     The 2021 Greenville Little League Tar Heel 12-year-old team was honored Wednesday, Sept. 1st at Elm Street Park by the City Council for the accomplishments they achieved this summer. They had a lot of success, but they did not end the summer the way they wanted. 

     These boys have played together for four years and have made many friendships throughout the regular season and All-Stars. The team has consistently been successful throughout their time in districts, states and regionals, and their bond

GLL All Stars_edited.jpg

Photo by Jay Tyndall

has grown every step of the way. The players and coaches of the 2021 12-year-old team also won the tournament of state champions during their 10-year-old year at Elm Street Park.

     The journey of this team was both exciting and disappointing towards the end of their season. Tar Heel first started in Greenville, NC where they won the district championship against Rocky Mount, NC. After a time of celebration, the team hit the road for the state tournament in Charlotte, NC. Most of their games in states were very close and went into extra innings. Tar Heel faced adversity but ended up winning the championship against the Winston Salem Little League team. This sent the Greenville team to Warner Robins, GA to play in the Little League Southeast Regional Tournament. The top two finishers of the tournament would advance to Williamsport, PA for the Little League World Series (LLWS) since there were no international teams this year. Everything the team prepared for had led up to this. Their first game was against Shenandoah Junction, WV. 

     The team won this game to proceed to round two, however the next morning one of the players received a positive COVID-19 test which proved later to be a false positive. This was devastating for the team because they could no longer have an opportunity to go to the LLWS and their Little League careers were over. These boys deserved to keep playing and should have not been eliminated because they were undefeated, had an incredible work ethic and were really entertaining to watch throughout the summer.

     Due to this unfortunate event, the city and community wanted to recognize them for their achievements and their undefeated season. The team was recognized by Mayor PJ Connelly and City Council member Deniesha Harris for their hard work and dedication to representing the city of Greenville. After the ceremony, manager Cory Scott surprised the team with a trip to Florida, including tickets to a Rays game and a trip to Universal Studios over Labor Day weekend. The trip was donated by the Stallings and Ballot families. This was a great way for the team to travel together one last time and to make memories together that they will never forget.

     The boys headed out on Saturday of Labor Day weekend on two planes that were donated and arrived in Tampa to watch the Rays vs. Twins baseball game. After the game, they flew to Orlando to spend the night. The next morning they woke up and went to Universal Studios for the day. 

     Even though the team did not expect their season to end on such an abrupt note, they still had a great ride and formed friendships that will last forever.

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