JOHNSTON, Iowa – The Johnston community gathered in the Hy-Vee parking lot Sunday afternoon to celebrate the success of the Johnston Little League baseball team – but the players’ parents got just as much applause.
“I cannot tell you – I cannot imagine – having a better group of parents to travel with for 22 days,” said team manager Duane Pineda. “You guys did everything for this team.”
The Johnston Little League All-Stars returned to Iowa Friday afternoon after a 22-day streak at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The All-Stars were one of eight teams in the country to advance to the world series; they made it into the final four before losing to Tennessee Wednesday.
Channel 13’s Michael Admire was even given a speaking slot at Sunday’s celebration, having covered the team’s run in Williamsport. The coaches called him part of the “family.”
Pineda said these young men taught him and the coaches some life lessons over the past three weeks.
“What I want to say to these boys, we will go to battle with these guys anytime,” he said. “Because they’re an amazing group of boys. We grew up – I grew up – in these last three weeks with them, watching how they treat each other.”
The Johnston Little League All-Stars are the first Midwest Regional Champions to win multiple games in the Little League World Series.