How about hard work, teamwork, sacrifice and newfound maturity?
by: JAIME VALDEZ, BUMMER — Alec Domogalla (center) shows his emotions for brother Bryan Domogalla of Murrayhill during the team's 7-3 loss to Georgia on Saturday in the U.S. Championship game of the Little League World Series.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Williamsport, located here in the upper east corner of Pennsylvania, has long been known as home of and birthplace to Little League Baseball.

But during World Series week, it has also been birthplace to an amazing number of ridiculous Murrayhill-related rumors.

There was the one about how Murrayhill cheated to get here by beginning all-star practice too soon.

Then there was the ESPN-coverage fueled one about how Murrayhill manager Jeff Keller didn't care about the long-term health of star pitcher Jace Fry's arm.

There was also a story about Murrayhill that didn't directly accuse the Beaverton team of cheating, but went on to mention in the next couple paragraphs that some of the great Little League teams in Williamsport might just be using steroids to enhance their chances.


And there's more.

Lots more.

Yet the parents of Murrayhill's players - including manager Jeff Keller, coach Ron Pool and unofficial assistant coaches Steve Fry and Dave Nix - actually seem to like the fact that their kids made it to the Series. They seem, against all the evidence presented by various local and national media outlets, to believe that this epic journey their sons and families have made is actually worth it.

But don't take my word for it. Listen to what the those folks have to say themselves about the whole Series experience.

n Candy Baur (Jace Fry's mom): 'As a parent, you never get a chance to bond with people like this. There are 11 other families here who, I think, we'll always have a special bond with. Everyone helps each other out. I think I need to go home and thank my son for getting to be a part of this.'

n Brad Perry (Austin Perry's father): 'There is an extraordinary sense of family commitment, and there's an amazing sense of player and coach commitment. There's such a tremendous sense of involvement. That's what I think I'll take away from it.'

n Jenny DeJardin (Devon DeJardin's mom): 'What's been great is that the kids worked hard and achieved so much, and the teamwork. (The players) are always positive. No one gets down on anyone. They're always supportive. It's like we all became a family.'

n Jeff Keller (Derek Keller's dad and the team's manager): 'It's mind-boggling, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.'

n Tom DeJardin (Devon DeJardin's dad): 'The kids have grown so much. They'd matured so much mentally and physically. They've done just an incredible job of handling themselves.'

n Scott Lampman (Perry Lampman's dad): 'What I look at is the 12 kids on the team and the experience they've had. I'm just so glad they're out here, to actually live the dream.'

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