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Fans, Friends Cheer Bend South’s Homecoming


When kids go back to school this fall, many probably will have to scratch their heads over the timeless theme, ?What I did on my summer vacation.”

But for one group of talented Bend 11- and 12-year-old baseball players, that paper will include two appearances on national TV and an inspiring run toward the Little League World Series that unfortunately fell one game and seven runs shy of success.

Nevertheless, a crowd of supporters cheered and applauded the Bend South squad on its homecoming Sunday evening.

“I heard stories of big parties and big events at local restaurants and bars, where people were getting together just to celebrate something that was new and fresh for the community,” said team Manager Brad Waterman.

Leaving the tears and thoughts of defeat behind, the young players hopped out, grinning cheek to cheek.

“It was awesome!? said Cal Waterman, who?s played catcher, pitcher and shortstop. ?We had a ton of support all over from here — it was amazing.”

But the cars were full of more than just souvenir T-shirts and pictures. The boys brought back home some unforgettable memories.

Second-baseman Cameron Davis said, “It was the fifth inning against Washington when I got my RBI single to score Cal (Waterman). It ended up being the game-winning hit — probably my favorite part of this year.”

It’s safe to say they’re going down in the history books. Bend South is only the third team from District 5 to win the Oregon state Little League title since it all started in 1959.

Not only that — they are just the second team from District 5 to go to the Northwest regional tournament, and the very first team to make it to the finals.

The coaches told us if we just believed, we could,? Davis said. ?So we believed, and we got to go down there.”

They made national TV — not once, but twice. They hit home runs, and scored the runs

But most importantly, they represented us, Central Oregon. And fans let them know they never once let us down.

“We could not be more thankful for all the support we got from everybody,” Brad Waterman said.

“Thank you Central Oregon!” the team shouted as one, before everyone headed home to — of course — relive the experience and get a chance to watch themselves playing on ESPN, the way the fans back home did.

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