CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Chesterfield County community is celebrating after a historic run for the local Little League Softball team, which competed on a national stage Wednesday, placing second in the World Series.
The 2021 Little League Softball World Series took place in Greenville, N.C. from Aug. 11-18.
Representing Virginia, the Chesterfield Little League team beat teams from Missouri, Arizona, New York, New Jersey and Texas, to advance to the championship game against Green County Little League from Muskogee, Okla. Although Chesterfield scored first in the final matchup, the team from Oklahoma would go on to take the win, 9-1.
“I was a little disappointed, just because I really wanted it. But I also felt really proud because I know we went so far,” Aaliyah Myers said.
She plays second base for the Chesterfield team.
“Not a lot of people get to experience that, so it felt really special,” Aaliyah said. “I honestly never want to forget any of it.”
Aaliyah said the crowd at the World Series was unlike anything she had ever experienced, and she had to remind herself to stay in the moment.
“Remember and try to think that the camera’s not on you, that you’re not being watched,” she said. “No one’s seeing you. It’s just the game.”
Her father, Steve, who is also a coach on the team, said that it was important to keep the girls mentally focused as the team advanced closer and closer to the championship game.
“We knew we were going to make a real good run at it this year,” he said. “Our confidence was up. We knew we had the talent. We just had to get their minds right and get them to perform.”
The team was honored Friday with a community event at Manchester High School. Parents, local leaders and residents were in attendance. Many of them could not cheer on the girls in person at the World Series games due to coronavirus-related restrictions.
Steve said that the community support since the team returned home has been unparalleled, and he’s amazed by what the girls accomplished.
“It makes you a proud dad. All the work and the time you put in, even with the other players in the team, I mean, you put in a lot of work,” he said. “It was a great experience. It makes you really proud — proud dad, proud coach.”
Aaliyah said that she and her teammates will take the next few months off before many of them resume training with winter workouts through their travel softball teams.
“I definitely want a little bit of a break, but I am ready to start a new season,” she said. “It’s always been really fun for me.”