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Sweetwater Valley Little League's 'band of brothers' livens up summer for fans Phillip Brents | Fri, Aug 08 2014 03:56 PM

When it was time to sit back from it all – and take a break from fall ball registration — Sweetwater Valley Little League President Kelly Besker finally had a chance to reflect on what he termed a “great run” by the league’s 11U and 12U all-star tournament teams.

“The teams played well and I believe it strengthens our position within the Little League community,” Besker noted. “I don’t recall the last time two teams from our league both advanced to sub-division play together. Regardless if it had just been one team or the two teams, they represented our league and community well. It took a lot of hard work and dedication by the coaches, players, parents and fans from our league and community to come together and support those boys on those two great teams.”

Besker noted both teams faced challenges while navigating through three post-season tournaments. The Sweetwater Valley 11U and 12U squads each won California District 42 and Section 7 championships before ending their seasons in the Southern California-South Sub-Division III tournaments.

SVLL’s 11U team advanced as far as the sub-division championship game before finishing second.

SVLL’s 12U team placed third among 288 teams in its sub-division.

“Both teams faced adversity along the way and they had to fight their way to some wins,” Besker explained. “That adversity was good for them as it made them stronger as a team. All the players played with class and conducted themselves properly on and off the field of play.

“Both teams made all of us adults feel like a kid again in some way as we all lived vicariously through them for a moment in time. It’s an experience the players, coaches and parents will always remember and talk about. We’ll try to do it all over again when our 11s become our 12s.

“As the president of the league, I’ll still say all the way to the end of the Little League World Series outcome ‘We should have been there!’ The 12- year-old team we assembled was something to behold. Those kids all played well together. It’s asking a lot of a 12-year-old to accept a certain role as a player on an all-star team when they might have been accustomed to a different role throughout the regular season. It goes to show the maturity and sense of ‘team’ all these young men have developed as they have grown up playing team sports. This baseball journey has been a great life lesson for all the people involved.”

Besker noted the Sweetwater Valley 12U team took a team photo before their final game wearing the uniforms they all wore during the regular season — not their all-star jerseys.

“Its a great picture and, to me it depicts a band of brothers from various teams, coming together, playing as a unit and making all of us adults feel ‘Little League young’ again for a few weeks in our lives,” Besker explained. “They did Sweetwater Valley Little League and District 42 proud. Two thumbs up for all our league players!”

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