The Lubbock Western All-Stars are home. The team and coaches landed at the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport just before 7:00 p.m. Monday night. Their return comes just one day after they captured the 3rd place title in the Little League World Series.
A crowd of about 50 fans and family welcomed the Lubbock Western All-Stars home Monday evening. Jay Pendergrass's great aunt Joann Castleberry was there. She said, "We are so proud. They did such a wonderful, wonderful job. We are really, really proud, and we missed them too."
The surprise celebration left some of the team speechless. Pitcher Garrett Williams said, "Speechless, that's the word, or no words, I can't express how we feel right now."
Some of those cheering on the team, had just returned home themselves, like Tyler Thorne's grandmother, Becky Critz. She said, "It was an experience of a lifetime to see your grandson play in the Little League World Series."
After more than a week of autographs, interviews, and of course the games, the players are happy to be home.
Pitcher Zane Ancell says, "It just feels great to be back in Texas, to be back in Lubbock our hometown." He also says, it will be great to be sleep in his own bed. "The beds we slept in there were hard." Ancell was injured during a play at home in the US Final, and everyone has been asking about his condition. Ancell said, "I'm doing alright. It's a broken leg, there's nothing you can do about it, but it's a pretty clean break, so it should be healed in four to six weeks, so it's not bad."
Team members say Lubbock's support cannot be beat. Pitcher Bryndan Arredondo said, "Thank you for all ya'lls support."
Players start school Tuesday and some of them start football practice after that, so while they're home, the pace really isn't slowing down.
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