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The Mythical Boys of Red Land, Pennsylvania

It's a story that had nearly everyone in the midstate smiling.

The team of kids out of Cumberland and York counties made a run unlike any other team from the midstate since 1990.

Red Land blew out much of the competition on the way to South Williamsport, and didn't stop once they arrived -- adopting the motto, "Why not us?"

By the end of the run, they were crowned U.S. champions and nearly won the world championship.

"But the memories that we made with each other as friends and teammates and becoming closer through that experience, I think that's what we're going to remember," says Cole Wagner, who really became a star, with his overwhelming power both as a hitter and as a pitcher.

"But I hope we're remembered for how we fought back. We had two walkoff wins in Williamsport, which is amazing, so I hope people remember us for how we battled and the close games."

But he was far from the only force for the team.

There was Jaden Henline, Chayton Krauss, Dylan Rodenhaber and so many more - all who became celebrities after the team's turn in the spotlight.

Palmer Rodenhaber, center with his face painted, the brother of Dylan Rodenhaber, the third baseman on the Red Land little league baseball team, helps lead the crowd during the pep rally held at the Red Land High School on Friday.

Manager Tom Peifer says with crowds that hit more than 45,000 people, it really was a special time.

"I do think back on that and think if we were in California doing that, it wouldn't have been nearly as special. To know that all the family and friends, relatives and just the whole community could be there to support us," says Peifer.

Peifer says after appearances on many national television shows, in parades, and at countless events, life is starting to return to normal.

He adds: "Well when I think back on it, it seems like a dream, you know what I mean? It's something that at the beginning of the summer when we started with this team we knew we were pretty good, but we never would've dreamed to go as far as we did and accomplish the things we did."

The team has also leveraged their championship for good - raising more than $18,000 for Four Diamonds at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

And while Cole Wagner says he cherishes the time away from the field the most, he also says this.

"Sometimes, you know, we look back and say 'Wow we really are U.S. champions, and that's an amazing accomplishment'."

Wagner says he recently watched video of the South Carolina game, when the team came back in the final inning.

"The whole time I was on the edge of my seat, I was so nervous, even though I knew what was going to happen. Every time I watch it, I still get chills."

 

 

Source: www.witf.org



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