Mission, La Joya and the RGV on the map
Franco said the memories will last a lifetime for parents and children alike.
“Meeting these teams from all over the world,” Franco said. “We just played Republica Dominicana, they were a little hesitant but they took the lead 15-3. They went in there and their mind is set. They want to represent Texas and the Rio Grande Valley especially.”
Coach Ruben Lopez was also a coach when the RGV won the PONY Little League World Series a year ago in Pennsylvania. He said that victory made it easier for these kids to follow the path.
“They’ve been doing a good job since the beginning of the season,” Lopez of Mission said. “I think last year was the key for the RGV Boys baseball-wise. I think it opened everything for the Valley.”
He said the strong baseball culture starts at this young age.
“A lot of coaches spend a lot of time with these kids and that’s the key there,” Lopez said. “It’s obviously some money and equipment and tournaments out of town. It’s pretty hard but the parents go above and beyond so these kids can get the exposure they need and experience to play high-level baseball.”
Martha Negra of La Joya said her child is having a weekend full of first-time experiences.
“It’s a great experience for him. He’s playing baseball but it’s the first time that he travels really far,” Martha Negra of La Joya said. “I graduated from La Joya and my son is going to school there so I’m proud he’s putting La Joya out there. It means a lot, I’m not sure if he’s the only one on the team but it’s great.”
“I’m proud of the whole team,” Coach Lopez said. “They’ve been improving a lot in the last 5 of 6 months. They’ve grown a lot as players and young kids. At the end of the day, they’re still kids and it’s hard to compete under pressure.”
The RGV team won its first game against the Dominican Republic and will continue playing throughout the weekend.
The 13U team is seeking donations to cover travel and food expenses via GoFundMe:
The team consists of the following players:
Luis Angel Balderas
Daren Octavio Bosques
Jayden Huneter De Leon
Javier Alejandro Garza
John David Garza III
Alexis Adriano Lopez
Salvador Alfredo Martinez
Joel Antonio Morales
Brian Alexander Perz
Robbie Aiden Rodriguez