***image1***To play in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., is the dream of Little League boys and girls. For the Ramstein 11- and 12- year-old All-Star team, the dream slipped out of their hands Aug. 13, when the team from Saudi Arabia beat them, 8 to 3, in the Little League Baseball’s Trans-Atlantic Regional Tournament in Kutno, Poland.
The Ramstein All-Stars were one of three teams from a military base at this year’s tournament. The last time Ramstein sent a team to Williamsport was in 1999.
The coaches, parents and supporters of Ramstein’s team all agree their players are winners because they did their best against formidable odds. Saudi Arabia has consistently fielded unbeatable teams, winning 15 of these tournaments including the previous four in a row.
“I am truly proud of our team and what they accomplished this season,” said Andre Murray, Ramstein Little League manager. “Although we didn’t make it to Williamsport, the experience the boys had this year will not be forgotten.”
Teams from Spain, England, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Saudi Arabia participated in this year’s annual tournament. Little League requires each team to have at least 60 percent Americans, and girls are allowed to play.
Ramstein beat every team except Saudi Arabia, which beat them twice. However, Ramstein was the only team to score against Saudi, and they secured a solid second place overall.
“I am proud of our kids; they gave up their summer for one goal: to make it to Williamsport. They practiced five times a week. I would like to thank all of the parents for their support and all of our Ramstein All-Stars for their outstanding sportsmanship. They represented the KMC with class,” said James Babin, a Ramstein Little League coach.
“Our boys displayed the teamwork it takes to be competitive at the All-Star level,” said Steve Jarvis, a Ramstein Little League coach. “Their ‘one for all, all for one’ attitude was readily apparent from the first day of practice through the Regional Tournament in Kutno. I’m very proud of them and what they accomplished this season.”
“I am very proud of each and everyone one of the boys who participated in the Little League tournament that was held in Kunto,” said Murray. “These 12 All-Stars played from the heart. Even when they were down, they never gave up. I always told them to play 100 percent and have fun and that is what they did through out this tournament season.
“I would like to thank the parents and supporting organizations for all your support you have given,” he said. “We could not have made it if it wasn’t for you.”
This year’s Ramstein team included Chris Johnson, Agustin Ortiz, Connor Vitek, Dreshawn Murray, Jake Groth, Andrew Bossert, Steven Braden, Branden Metzel, J.C. Babin, Chris Allen, Tyler Jarvis and David Brooks.
For more information on next year’s season, go to the Ramstein Little League Web site http://-groups.msn.com/RamsteinLittleLea-gue/ho-me.htm.