The Eastlake Little League squad from Sammamish is the 10th team in state history to earn a berth at the Little League World Series.
“It’s really nice to see their hard work has paid off,” said Gabe Brookshier, a former player.
“If these guys can pull it off it will be really remarkable for our community,” said Josh Brookshier, an Eastlake Little League Board member.
But its success comes with sacrifice for its families.
“The costs are huge, everything is last minute,” said Andy Olson, whose son Zack plays on the team.
Olson is thankful to work for a local company that allows him the time off he needs to travel with the team.
After the team defeated Montana Saturday, many parents had to scramble to make accommodations for the World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
“The fares yesterday were up to a $1,000 a ticket,” said Olson.
Between transportation, food, lodging and time off from work, he estimates a small family will spend at least $3,000. Depending on how well the team does, some may spend up to $10,000.
“Nobody complains because you’re going to be in the World Series so it’s doable but definitely a hardship,” said Olson.
“It’s a wonderful problem to have,” said Josh Brookshier.
To show its support, the community is holding watch parties and has set up a website to help families offset costs.
The goal is to raise at least $25,000.
While families are cutting back where they can to soften the financial blow, they’re excited for what they call an opportunity of a lifetime.
“Would we trade it? No way, we wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world,” said Olson.
The team opens up the World Series tournament on Thursday against a team from Corpus Christi, Texas at 12pm local time.