World Series winners celebrated
Published 8:00 am Monday, August 7, 2023
They lined the streets, clapping and cheering as the boys walked by. On Friday, Aug. 4, Lunenburg County residents showed up in Victoria to celebrate a bit of local history and honor those who achieved it.
James Levine, Jayden Williams, Landon Parker, Reed Hite, Anthony Elliott, Christopher Walker, Blake Overby, Colt Camp, Bryan Long, Vaden Liles and Reed Nowlin made up the Lunenburg County team that first won the District 5 title, then the Virginia State Championship and made their way to Ruston, Louisiana at the end of July, where they competed in the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series. They didn’t just compete. For the first time, a Lunenburg County team was the last group standing, as they beat the Louisiana team on July 31 to claim the title. It wasn’t an easy road, as that last week in July drew temperatures of around 100 degrees some days, and that was just in the stands. On the field, it was hotter. But the team fought hard and played through the heat. They also kept a trend going, as three of the last four Dixie Youth Baseball champions came from Virginia.
A reporter from The Dispatch reached out to head coach Brian Nowlin for comment, but we hadn’t been able to reach him by presstime.
Just like you would see for an NFL or MLB team, Lunenburg County turned out last Friday to celebrate the team’s achievements. Lining up on Main Street in Victoria, some folks made signs, while others wore the team’s colors of navy and red. Above all, the message given out was how proud county residents were of their players.
“It’s great to see,” said Donna Herren. The Lunenburg County resident came with her husband James and their two-year-old son Tommy. “I’m just so happy for these kids and I hope they know how proud we are of everything they accomplished.”
James also pointed to the fact the players were giving other kids something to aspire to.
“You always hear talk about a city team doing this or some group from a big town winning. These boys showed that doesn’t matter. And maybe younger kids see what they did and think ‘hey, I can do that’. They’re showing there’s no limits if you put the work in.”
It wasn’t just the World Series winners being recognized on Friday. Lunenburg County teams won the AAA Minor League, Coach Pitch and Debs state titles in their respective divisions. Players from all of those teams also walked in the parade, getting applause and cheers from the crowd.
“I may not have a kid on the team, but I wanted to come out so they know we’re all proud of their accomplishments,” Addison said. “They put in the effort and it paid off. I think that’s something we should teach in school. None of the other stuff matters. Just focus and work hard and you can make it.”
Nancy Jane saw the accomplishments as another positive step for Lunenburg. The 78-year-old pointed to Central High’s run last fall to the regional championship and now this.
“You have one of our teams winning the thing and three others won their state title,” Jane said. “With this, with football, there’s just good things happening for kids in this county and I’m happy to be around to see it.”