A little bit of Mayberry came to West University Place Thursday, as dozens of families came out to cheer the World Champion West U Little League Seniors.
The 15- and 16-year old ballplayers rode on a flatbed truck down University Boulevard, which was lined with U.S. flags by the West U Rotary Club. The players tossed out candy, green beads and signed, small baseballs to children lining the parade route.
West U Mayor Bob Fry read a proclamation “officially commending the team” and proclaimed that Thursday, August 28, 2014 was officially recognized by the city as “West U Little League Senior Division World Champions Day.”
Incoming West U Little League president Robby Winston also read a proclamation from Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, congratulating the team on their championship.
Winston said that West U Little League “is the greatest league in the word, no doubt about it.”
Manager Clint Sauls commended the players for their drive and dedication in winning the championship.
“From day one, they have worked. They have focused, they have been driven,” Sauls said. “This journey, this accomplishment will be with them forever.”
Each player was recognized on the mound by Winston and Sauls, and each player was presented with a commemorative T-shirt. Saul assured the players “the rings will come later,” during their last huddle.
The team won the 2014 Senior Division World Championship in Bangor, Maine, on August 16.
They are the second team from West U to win the Senior World Series in just five years. The townsfolk also turned out for a similar parade for the 2009 team that won. Two other West U teams, in 2010 and 2011, also competed in the Series.
The short parade went from Rutgers to Auden, winding up at the Paul Wallin Little League fields near West U Elementary School.
The 2014 players on the WULL Senior Division team are Mitchell Black, Jared Burch, Harrison Burks, Cameron Cash, Aaron Cranfield, Julian Cranfield, John Doxakis, Turner Gauntt, Joe Gobillot. Andrew Hoffman, Owen Holt, William James, Carson Maxwell, Jacob Millender, Michael Streitmann and Jimmy Winston. The winning team was managed by Clint Sauls, with assistant coaches Cape Bell and Parker Duffie.
The WULL team defeated other Senior Division teams from Connecticut, Michigan, Maine, Italy and Latin America to bring home the championship.