There are plenty of reasons why Little League World Series teams never get a chance to mature as a unit. Players on the all-star squads often hail from different towns or districts, and eventually attend any number of different regional high schools. Add in the requisite players who are sure to transfer into a new school district altogether, and it's no wonder that there's never been a clear read on how the core of a Little League World Series team might perform at the high school level … until now.
That's because a whopping eight members of the Council Rock-Newtown Little League team that represented Pennsylvania in the 59th Little League World Series are now playing together for Council Rock (Pa.) High. Together, they make up a clear majority of the starting lineup for one of Pennsylvania's most serious state title contenders.
"There's kind of a special bond we have," outfielder Darren Lauer told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We grew really close from the experiences we shared."
Now, those eight players will try to put together a run at another crown, albeit one with significantly less national television exposure. Along with Lauer, Ryan Hartley (who is introducing his teammates in the now-outdated ESPN video above), David Pine, Keith Terry, Mike Festa, Dan Denton, Mike Tentilucci and Benn Parker were all significant parts of the 2005 World Series team, which went 1-2 in pool play and was eliminated.
Now, they form the core of a team that is currently ranked by the Inquirer as the top team in Southeastern Pennsylvania. And whether Council Rock North is successful where its Little League counterpart fell short the first time or not, there's little question that the players still attack the game with the same excitement verve they did as Little Leaguers.
"My kids sprint on and off the field at all times," Council Rock North coach Matt Schram told the Inquirer. "I want everyone watching to know they love this game."