Massapequa Coast players know Little League World Series could be their last rodeo together

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Little League players on the Massapequa Coast realize this trip to the Little League World Series could be the end of an era. They’ve been playing together since they were 8 and when they turn 13 they could spend summers with different travel teams.

“We talked about shaking things up because this is our last time together,” shortstop Christian Bekiers said. “We have become very close over the years playing together and spending this month together has brought us even closer.”

Unlike most other little leagues, Massapequa Coast opts to keep teams together by age. He has a team of players who are 12, 11 and 10 years old. However, he never mixes age groups for the team that will compete to play in Williamsport.

“We strive to be successful at every level,” league president Craig Garland said. “We don’t put all our eggs in one basket.

“One of the advantages of the policy is the proximity of this group,” said director Roland Clark. “You can see it translating into their play on the pitch.”

Happy with all new equipment

The Little League World Series dresses all participating players from head to toe when they arrive here. The Massapequa Coast team opted for a uniform fitting where they got orange and black uniforms and practice shirts along with new cleats from adidas. Afterwards, each player received a premium aluminum bat, batting gloves and travel bags from Easton. Seekers also received all-new chest guards, shin guards and masks from Easton.

“Getting all the new gear was pretty cool – I love it,” said midfielder Danny Fragara.

Receiver Ryan Huksloot added, “We knew about the uniforms, but the cleats and equipment were a surprise – a really awesome surprise.”

Safety is paramount

On Monday, Easton Oliverson of mountain champion Utah fell from an upper bunk in the team dormitory and injured his head. He is said to be recovering from surgery at a local hospital. Following the accident, all the bunk beds in the dormitories were dismantled into twin beds on the floor.

“We talked to the kids before about being smart with their downtime,” Clark said. “We are happy that (Oliverson) is doing well, but it illustrates how important safety is.”

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