The Cranston Western Little League team has returned to Rhode Island. The team spent the last two weeks competing in the Little League World Series in Williamsport Pennsylvania.
The group of players and coaches were met with a warm reception from family, friends, and local fans.
Dozens gathered, many sporting team jerseys at Cranston Stadium, awaiting their arrival by bus.
Dawn Harper was anxiously awaiting the arrival of her son, outfielder Thomas Harper.
“I’m glad to have him home; he hasn’t been home in almost 17 days, so very happy that he’s coming home,” said Harper. “He’s the one that made the incredible catch that’s been all over the web, so quite the experience.”
Harper made an impressive diving catch during Cranston’s game against a team from California.
On the Cranston Stadium football field a marching band played as the team disembarked from their vehicle and streamed onto the grass. The young athletes stood at the center of the field in the early evening sun as fans cheered from the stands. In a rare celebratory moment, the recently embattled Cranston Mayor Allan Fung congratulated the team.
“The city of Cranston is proud to welcome you back,” said Fung, as he listed off the local politicians in attendance, including members of the city council. Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello was also in attendance.
Cranston Western coach Gary Bucci thanked the crowd for their continued support through the Little League World Series
“You people made it even extra special, to look up in Williamsport and to see your family and to see your friends, and they’re cheering you on. I can’t describe it, thank you again,” said Bucci.
The Cranston Western team won this year’s New England Champions. They were eliminated before the finals in the World Series.
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