It is the dream of every Little Leaguer to someday play in the Little League World Series, Williamsport, PA. While the Elmhurst 11&12 year old All-Stars didn't make it to Williamsport, they did earn themselves a trip to the Field of Dreams in Wabash, IN to play in the 2003 Indiana State All-Star Tournament as District 10 Champions. The district includes all of Ft. Wayne, Auburn, Churubusco, and Leo. Elmhurst was one of only eight teams in the entire state to make it there, quite an accomplishment for the 14 players talented enough to make the Elmhurst team.
These kids went into District play as the only District 10 Team to include 2 eleven year olds and a girl. A girl? Yes, a girl. And what a girl she is. The only girl in the entire state tournament. You don't make it that far without talent. Shallen Willcuts showed everyone that a girl is just as capable as any boy (and more capable than a lot of boys). She was a valuable asset to the Elmhurst team, consistently doing her job and doing it better than many of her opponents. She would belt the ball to the fence everytime her bat touched it, leaving her opponents in awe. Elmhurst was dubbed the "Cinderella Team" by more than a few people. They were a smaller park with a smaller pool of players to choose from. One of our players said it best.
" Everyone says we are the "Cinderella Team", well... Shallen is our "Cinderella" ... only instead of glass slippers she has a bat." Way to go Shallen!
Everytime the Elmhurst team took the field they were the smallest team. Small in stature that is. These kids had the hearts of mighty warriors and it showed in the way they played the game. In their race for District 10 Championship, they were looked over and looked past by many of their opponents. "They're little, they have eleven year olds, they have a GIRL!" Elmhurst looked past no one, played every game as if it were the last, and played until the very last out in every single game. Their only loss in District 10 pool play was to St. Joe National, they then went on to defeat that team for the District 10 Championship. Anyone familiar with local Little League knows that was, and is a phenomenal victory. The Elmhurst team didn't realize how good they were until the final out in that game, even then one wonders "do they know how special they are?"
While Elmhurst won just one of three games in the State Tournament, one of the players Brooks Doak brought home the first place trophy for the 2003 Indiana State Tournament Home Run Derby. Way to go Brooks! Being a winner doesn't always mean you have to win the game. Being a winner means knowing you gave your best effort and played fair. All these players did just that which makes them winners on and off the playing field. We say hats off to you Elmhurst Little League 11& 12 year old All-Star District 10 Champions: Justin Biggs, Trevor Davis, Brooks Doak, Josh Moore, Sean Musi, Bryant Newgent, Jacob Renkenberger, Wesley Reuille, Chad Sampson, Wes Springer, Tyler Stephens, Adam Sullivan, Shallen Willcutts and Ronnie Williams, Manager Terry Stephens, Coaches Paul Doak and Paul Davis. All of you are true heroes in the eyes of your parents and families and hopefully to alot of other people as well. This is what the best memories are made of. Anything is possible when you believe.
All for the Love of the Game
by Michelle Newgent
All through the All-Star Tournament we were known as the "Cinderella Team" from the south side of town. When the boys and Shallen ran out on that baseball diamond they were judged by their size and not by their hearts or the love of the game.
By the weekend the kids were all really excited that they continued to win against some teams with some awesome players. Our team had no idea how good they were until the night they won the district championship. The "Cinderella Team" had a feeling running through them that one could only imagine. They had made it to the Ball and made it their own. I can't begin to tell you about the great manager and coaches these kids had. Without them, I think we would have been the team with the early ending season. The physical, mental and emotional support from the coaches is what held our team together.
We also had a couple of players that were hit by pitches that you could almost feel sitting in the stands. The kids kept playing.
Were we smaller than most teams we played? Definitely! Did our team play their hearts out? Absolutely! All for the love of the game.