South Fort Myers U11 baseball team prepares for Cal Ripken World Series

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Every little kid dreams of playing in the World Series. They watch their baseball idols on the television, dreaming of one day making it to that level and playing under the bright lights. For one local youth team, that dream is becoming a reality, sort of.

The South Fort Myers U11 baseball team is preparing for the Cal Ripken World Series. It may not be the major leagues, but it is the pinnacle for youth baseball. The local 11-year-olds are heading to Jensen Beach this weekend and will be competing next week in the national championship tournament.

“Great moments are born from great opportunities,” Head Coach David Mumme said. “Nice little opportunity we have in front of us.“

That opportunity includes competing against the best teams in the country. Teams from numerous states, even Puerto Rico, will be in attendance.

“I’ve been wanting to do this since I started all-stars,” one of the players, Beckett Livenia, said. “I just think it’s going to be a blast.”

South Fort Myers wasn’t originally supposed to be in the World Series. They lost to Naples, the state champion, in the district championship. So, they thought their season was over until the Cal Ripken organizers sent them an invitation to the tournament.

“You know we questioned ourselves,” Mumme said. “Did we really earn it? We looked at the dedication all season, all the practices, all the hours, and it’s a great opportunity. So, in retrospect they’ve earned it and they’re fired up for it.”

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Only a select number of teams nationally play in the World Series. So, just receiving an invitation meant a lot to the team.

“I’m excited that my dreams could finally come true,” a member of the team, Ashton Fritz, said.

Since receiving the invitation, South has been practicing and training for their biggest opportunity yet.

“We’ve just been doing way better,” one of the players, Paxton Mumme said. “[We’re] being able to compete better.”

With the tournament right around the corner, all of the players are focused on their shared goal.

“I want to win the World Series,” Fritz said.

Tags: Cal Ripken World SeriesFort Myersyouth baseball

 

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