El Segundo is preparing to make his Little League World Series debut against a team from Ohio in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on Thursday at 4 p.m. on ESPN.
The team had to get up at 4 a.m. on Saturday to catch a bus to Ontario Airport and then fly back east. Several players contracted gastrointestinal virus at Williamsport but manager Danny Boehle said they are doing better. It was raining on Tuesday, so he waited to watch practice to find out which of his five pitchers would get the starting shot.
El Segundo is considered one of the favorites among the 10 teams from the USA. There are also 10 international teams.
One of El Segundo’s strengths is the attitude of the players, and that’s no surprise. Boehle players don’t party or dye their hair after home runs or big plays. He’s old fashioned.
“We don’t do showboating,” he said. “You are not allowed to do that. Once the mission is accomplished, yes.”
Boehle is friends with former USC and NFL quarterback Matt Cassel, who played with Northridge in the 1994 Little League World Series. He said Cassel gave advice.
“He said the key to winning is making sure the kids are having fun,” Boehle said.
They enjoy the table tennis games that take place in the dormitories, although a team is very good.
“Japan beats everyone,” he said.