We are from a little town on Whidbey Island called Coupeville. Our Little League Boys won our District 11 title to move on to State, located in Medical Lake WA. We went there for 10 days, and WON State! So now we are off to California next and we need to raise 20,000 in only one week. Were a very small town with only a population of 1,723 people. Everyone at the State Tournament nominated us as the team with the most heart and sportsmanship. Please read the Whidbey Examiner article below..
Central Whidbey captures state Little League crown
By David Svien
For the Examiner
Dear rest of Washington state: Our baseball players are better than yours.
Sure, it may sound like bragging, but facts are facts, and, at the moment, Coupeville is the place to be if you want to find championship-level diamond boys.
Capping a two-week hot streak, the Central Whidbey Junior (13-14) Little League All-Star baseball squad used a 10-9 extra-inning thriller of a win over West Valley July 24 to capture its first-ever state title and move one step closer to punching its ticket to the national tourney.
With five wins in six games at the state tournament, the 13-player team and Coach Chris Tumblin effectively proved smaller programs can compete on the same level as leagues from major urban centers. And, maybe most importantly, they can do it while playing as a united team.
"We've heard a handful of derogatory comments about small-town leagues, and I'm convinced they're only doing it to try to boost their confidence," Central Whidbey Little League President Bob Martin said. "Our boys have been commended not only for their skills and brother-like behavior on the field, but for their sportsmanship and respectfulness to those around them off the field."
"Our kids were a real class act, and it was nice to have them recognized for that by other coaches and the officials," Tumblin added.
Showcasing strong pitching and timely hitting – capped off by Aaron Trumbull's title-clinching RBI single in the 10th inning Saturday – Central Whidbey now advances to the West Regional in Laguna Niguel, Calif. Aug. 3-10. Guaranteed at least five games there against teams from Montana, Arizona, Oregon and California, the local all-stars hope to earn a chance to advance on to the Junior League Baseball World Series in Taylor, Mich. Aug. 15-21.
After capturing five games in a row to win the District 11 title, Central Whidbey came out equally on fire once they reached the state tournament at Medical Lake High School in Spokane. First they pounded Redmond 12-1 behind a three-armed pitching beast comprised of Korbin Korzan, Jake Tumblin and Ben Etzell, then they edged West Seattle 6-2 in extra innings when Brendan Ameluxen-Coleman's double launched a four-run rally in the eighth.
A 9-5 shredding of Fort Vancouver and a 13-8 pounding of Richmond, both sparked by huge hits from Morgan Payne, sent the squad into the final, where they needed to win just one of two against West Valley, which advanced out of the consolation bracket.
Things got interesting after their rivals won the opener 4-3, thanks to a highly questionable balk called on Korzan. But a team meeting between games helped to put the spark back into Central Whidbey, Tumblin said.
"After the first game, the guys hated each other, they hated the game, they hated the world," Tumblin said with a laugh. "So we stuck them in a room and let them fix it, and they came up with a list of things they wanted to do differently. They came back out friends again, and it was a really different atmosphere."
Even with a change in attitude, Central Whidbey fell behind early, trailing 5-0 after two innings. After scraping back to within 9-6 entering the bottom of the seventh and final regular inning, they ignited one last rally, storming back to score three runs and send the game into extra innings.
Once there, they rode the finesse pitching of Kurtis Smith, "Whidbey's version of Jamie Moyer," through three scoreless innings, before Trumbull's bloop single sent one of the smaller squads at the tournament home with the biggest trophy.
Unlike bigger Seattle-based leagues, Central Whidbey has only one junior team, which played the entire season together. Minus three players from the regular season, who were lost to injury or other commitments, the state champion roster featured Ameluxen-Coleman, Kyle Bodamer, Aaron Curtin, Etzell, Korzan, Brian Norris, Payne, Carson Risner, Wade Schaef, Paul Schmakeit, Smith, Trumbull and Jake Tumblin.
With the high costs involved in sending 13 players and three coaches to California, the all-star squad needs as much financial help as possible to make their dream a reality.
The following message was sent by a lady from West Plains who witnessed also how great of a team we were..
" Ramon...You have no idea who I am, but Im was one of the gals working the tournment the past week!! Your team, your fans, and you as coaches left such a touching impression on us West Plains people and we are really wanting to follow you guys to California!! I told some of our guys that I was going to see if I could find you and Chris on FB and follow the updates!!
I would love it if you would accept me just so I can follow the journey and share it with the West Plains people!! We were all pulling for you guys terribly and were so happy to see the result of that game!!
BY FAR, THE BEST GAME I HAVE EVER WATCHED!!"
I have to also share with you something that I saw right before the final hit that brought in the winning run!! I was sitting directly behind the batter when he walked up to the plate!! The batter on deck...w...ho I believe was Korbin...looked at the batter and said "Dig deep man as he hit his fist to his heart" ~ Not 5 seconds later...on the very next pitch he hit it bringing in the winning run!! I will forever remember his voice, the look the two gave each other, and the sound of the ball hitting that bat!! Honestly, I lost sleep over it last night ~ It was so amazing and I feel so blessed that I was there to witness it!!
I have 3 boys that play baseball so I can tell you I have seen my fair share of games....With that being said, I have never seen the drive and the emotion behind one team!! You all deserve to win it big...I could only wish I could be there to see it but I saw one game...and I thank God for Facebook so I can watch this incredible journey play out for you guys!!
Go Gettem!!!!!!! West Plains is behind you 150%!!!!!!!