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The road to Williamsport starts now

July 08, 2009

Each year, when the Maryland District 1 11-12 Little League Baseball tournament begins, a berth in the Little League World Series seems like a pipe dream.

Federal Little League proved last year that such a dream is attainable, becoming the first Washington County team in 40 years to reach Little League Baseball's final tournament in South Williamsport, Pa.

The very first steps will be taken toward that ultimate goal tonight when the double-elimination district tournament opens with four games.

Halfway plays at West End, South Mountain travels to Sharpsburg, Clear Spring plays at Hancock and Valley goes to American. All games are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

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Four more games will be played Thursday. Maugansville hosts the Halfway-West End winner, National travels to the South Mountain-Sharpsburg winner, Federal hosts the Clear Spring-Hancock winner and Conococheague travels to the Valley-American winner.

The final two unbeaten teams will meet in the winners' bracket final on July 14 and the district final is July 17, with an "if necessary" game scheduled for July 18.

Federal has won the district title the last two years. West End has the most titles -- 15 -- since district play began in 1957.

The district winner advances to the Maryland State Tournament, which begins July 25 at Stethem Park in Waldorf.

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