Smithfield Little League All-Stars celebrate send off to the Metro Regionals

SMITHFIELD, R.I. –The Smithfield Little League team is three games away from playing in the World Series.

After breaking a nearly six-decade-long drought, the team is getting ready to head off to the Little League Regional Tournament, and it all started Thursday night with a sendoff party.

It’s been a long road for the Smithfield All-Stars to get back here. With a drought older than some of the current star’s parents, the team has been itching for a state championship.

The manager of the All-Stars told ABC 6 News that their  journey has been one of the best parts.

“Literally just watching them learn the game has been incredibly rewarding. Most of these kids couldn’t tie their shoes when we first started to work together. Now they’re turning double plays, hitting home runs, and trying to pick up girls in middle school. So, it’s been a huge transition to see over the last five years.” said Eric Gibree, the team’s manager.

It came down to a nail-biter against South Kingston to send Smithfield to the Metro Regionals and players are feeling just how special the moment is.

“It’s not a very high chance this happens. A lot of kids don’t get this chance in life, so just take it all in,” said John Wozniak, one of the players.

After seeing everyone come out to support them, the team said they know what it means to their community.

“It’s just — it’s insane how we bring so much to Smithfield and how we can do this much for one town and state,” explained Royce Aglione, another of the players.

It’s been 56 years since Smithfield won a state championship, and players from that previous team had some advice for the new team saying, “Have fun, the memories of a lifetime,” and “Stay confident.” 

The team sets off Friday morning for Bristol and feel confident they can keep the train moving.

Their next game kicks off Saturday night.

Categories: News, Rhode Island