The 9/10-year-old Windham all-star baseball team competed in Cranston, RI in the New England Regional Little League Tournament and although they didn’t win, they showed the other teams what being from Maine was all about.
“Maine is probably the most fun team,” said team mom Shelly Afthim. When the announcer played Cotton-Eye Joe the team from Maine stood and danced. Afthim said they started playing the song first at every game. At the final banquet, the announcer invited the Maine team and their siblings to the front of the room to dance. The team was Brady Afthim, Brady Bowen, Harrison Boyle, Nick Garrison, Dylan Gorman, Quinton Hastings, Cameron Joyce, Nolan Kent, Caleb McCartney, Drew Mathieu and Jarek Mead.
“We couldn’t be prouder. They were having fun and enjoying every minute,” Afthim said.
Although the team lost all four of their games, the “kids were in it the entire time,” Afthim said. In three of the games they only lost by two runs, said coach Paul Kent. Kent was assisted by Jim McCartney and Chris Gorman.
Eleven boys and their families travelled to Rhode Island as well as grandparents and local residents. One of the Little League board members also brought his family down to watch the games.
“The kids were treated like kings,” said Kent.
The trip to Rhode Island was paid for by generous donations by businesses and private citizens in Windham. In six days, they raised $18,000.
The team had to play 11 games to be crowned State champions, which they did remaining undefeated in district play. Then at the state level, they played seven teams.
“They had to do a lot of good things along the way,” said Kent. “There’s only been one Windham team that’s had such success and that was in 2000.”