FORT MEADE, Fla. -- The City of Fort Meade had a great week, celebrating one of its youth baseball teams winning the Dixie Youth “O Zone” World Series for Division II.
- Fort Meade youth baseball team wins World Series
- The team went undefeated this summer
- Residents greeted players when they returned home from North Carolina
The 11 and 12-year-old players called it a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“It’s fun because you hear all the people cheering for you and you get to play under crowd. You don’t get to do that much at this age,” said Elijah Harrell, a shortstop on the team.
The team took home championship rings. They came home Wednesday from North Carolina after playing in the World Series representing the state of Florida.
The city of Fort Meade treated them like celebrities and residents stood out in the rain to greet them when they arrived.
“It’s a small town so anytime the kids do something they really rally behind them and support them," said head coach Jemalle Cornelius. "They welcomed us home. We had fans showing up from everywhere. It’s a big deal down here in Fort Meade."
It’s the first time Fort Meade has won the championship. The team went undefeated this summer, 23-0.
"This is the best 12 and under team that has ever come out of Fort Meade," said John Barnett, who played at Florida Southern College before playing in the minor leagues. "For sure. And probably one of the better ones in Polk County."
The team won the World Series after winning five games against teams from Alabama, South Carolina, Virginia and Mississippi. The score for the last game against Mississippi was 10-9.
One of the team’s pitchers had this to say about that game.
"I wasn’t that nervous. I got ice in my veins," Omari Russell said.
Fort Meade Dixie Youth is organizing a community-wide celebration for August 10.
Details of time and location are still being worked out.