MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
Cheers erupted from a crowd of parents who lined up outside a fence as inside, petite baseball players -- clad in a dirty, green uniforms -- scored a run at Marine Corps Base Quantico on June 15, 2013.
The Athletics and Red Sox, two little league teams that are part of the Youth Sports Program aboard base, were contending for the final game of the year, the World Series.
“We beat the Padres 12-10 [in the playoffs] and then entered the World Series,” said Matt Middleton, assistant coach Athletics. “We have had a good season.”
The Youth Sports Baseball League was comprised of five teams, open to 9-12 year olds. Four branches of the military were represented during the season which lasted from April to June.
Seventy-five minutes, the length of the game, gave the undefeated Athletics an opportunity to score eight runs against their rival; winning the championship game of the year, 8-4.
“The team fed off each other,” said Christine Middleton, head coach Athletics. “Everybody did a great job today.”
Team spirit is one of the reasons some parents choose to allow their children to play with the Youth Sports League.
“I like the family feel on base,” said Lewis Powell, father of an Athletics ball player. “We haven’t experienced the favoritism here that we have out in town. The coaches taught our children throughout the season and everybody got to play.”
The teams had some hurdles to overcome this year including adjusting schedules to find a field to use and playing around the weather, but in the end the mission was completed.
“It’s all about the kids,” said Christine Middleton, head coach of the Athletics.
“It’s a drive to make it down here for practices from Woodbridge, but it’s worth it,” said Powell. “We will definitely be back next year.”