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Haines City Little League Senior Team Wins State Championship, Heading to Southeast Regionals

by James Coulter

The Senior Team of the Haines City Little League will be heading to the Southeast Regionals in two weeks after winning the state championships this weekend.

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The Haines City Little League’s senior team experienced victory last weekend at the Florida League Championship after defeating North Springs Little League from Cape Coral.

Before the state championship, they had competed in the district tournament representing the local area of Plant City, Haines City, and Lake Wales.

They then moved on to the sectional tournament, where they played against teams from Dr. Phillips and DeLaney. The recent state tournament this weekend had them compete and win against the top 8 little league teams in the state of Florida.

Their senior team consists of 14 players ages 14 to 16 from Haines City and surrounding cities. Their motto this year, according to their League President Joshua Haranda, is, “We Didn’t Get This Far to Get This Far!”

“We really didn’t have any expectations because the biggest thing is we never thought we would make it as far as we did,” Haranda said. “That is our biggest thing: we continue to strive and move onto the following game. Nobody expected us to be where we are at. The first time in our league history that we made it to the regional tournament.”

Haranda owes their success to their pitching and defense, which has led them to victory at each of their tournaments. As for their expectations, since they never made it this far, being able to tackle the upcoming championships will prove to be a new challenge. But they hope to meet them with their best, Haranda said.

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“The biggest obstacle is our team not being put in that situation before,” he said. “That will be our biggest obstacle. The only way to overcome it is to continue doing what we have done. Not change anything. Do not get big-headed. Even with the best that we have had this year, they will be the biggest thing this year.”

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Staff Reporter

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