BROWNSVILLE (KVEO) – Fans crowded the stands at West Brownsville Little League (WBLL) to catch the all-star sectional tournament matchup between the 12-and-under All-stars of West Brownsville and Alice.
After safety protocols related to COVID 19 canceled all Little League play in 2020, the beloved organization returned to play this spring, wrapping up the comeback season with All-star competition for the first time since 2019.
This year, WBLL played host to the sectional tournament, which serves as the second round of the competition. Teams that win the sectional tournament continue up the ranks through the state and regional competitions before, ultimately, qualifying for the international Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. Above all, WBLL President Dino Chavez is just happy to be back on the diamond.
“Man it is so awesome just to be able to play,” Chavez said with a smile.
WBLL 12u head coach Jesus Esacmill shared a similar sentiment, despite being eliminated tonight following a 7-2 loss to Alice Little League.
“Just to reflect and see we didn’t have baseball last year,” Escamilla said. “I still remember the first day we opened up the field and the parents were in the outfield — I’m getting goosebumps — it’s just so great, especially for the kids.”
They both have plenty to smile about.
Aside from returning to the diamond, WBLL fielded a record seven All-star teams this postseason, including four baseball teams (10u, 11u, 12u, 14u) and three softball teams (10u, 12u, 14u).
“For West Brownsville, that is unprecedented,” Chavez explained. “We’ve never had that many All-star teams go forth.”
Following tonight’s 12u loss to Alice, West Brownsville has just one team remaining in this year’s sectional competition.
The 14u All-star baseball team will take on the loser of Oil Belt and Alice for a chance to remain in the tournament. The matchup is set for tomorrow, July 16, at Brownsville Veterans Memorial High School at 6 p.m.