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Support was grand

September 01, 2008|By DAVID BLENCKSTONE

On behalf of the parents and coaches of the Federal Little League All-Stars, thank you, thank you, thank you! Our boys took us on an unforgettable, six-week journey that would not have been possible without the incredible support shown by our community.

From Easton to Bristol to Williamsport, Federal fans were there in number and in spirit, and we will always be grateful.

I remember saying to my father during the state championship game versus Easton how incredible it was that Federal had more fans that Easton. And Easton Little League was hosting the tournament.

Then on to Bristol, Conn., where Federal fans, dressed and painted in red and black, packed the bleachers on a chilly, rainy night to see their team beat Pennsylvania for a trip to Williamsport - despite the fact that they could have been home watching the game on ESPN.

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Wow, we made it to Williamsport! And so did what seemed like all of Washington County. We were stunned that first night when bus loads of orange-clad Federal fans streamed into Lamade Stadium to support their team, only to be disappointed by a rainout. No problem! Saturday the crowds were just as large and just as supportive.

A few minutes before the game Monday afternoon, I took a stroll away from the parents' section and walked beyond the outfield fence, trying to get a sense of what the kids were feeling. When I got to center field, and just as the boys were being introduced onto the field, I looked back and saw a sea of orange flooding the first base bleachers. The roar of the crowd as the boys took the field took my breath away.

After we beat the Pennsylvania team in Bristol, Little League administrators there told us that because we represented the mid-Atlantic, we might have a few more fans in Williamsport than the other regions. They had no idea.

To the fans who came together to cheer on the boys of Federal in the comfort of their living rooms and local establishments, we thank you. It is heart-warming and emotional to see all of the support from our community, whether it be at the games or rallying from afar.

We hope our boys made you proud. Your support certainly made us proud to be representing Hagerstown, Washington County and the State of Maryland, and we will always be grateful.

David Blenckstone is writing on behalf of Manager Bill Abeles Jr., Coach Doug Hornbecker and the parents of the Federal 11-12 "A" All-Stars in Hagerstown.

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