Little League

Staten Island Little Leaguers Ready To Take On Honolulu

August 22, 2018 - 11:42 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Things have changed a little bit for these 12 and 13 year olds from Staten Island.

"They're signing autographs, taking pictures," Mid-Island Little League Coach Joe Calabrese said.

But through it all, the Staten Island Little Leaguers are staying focused on their mantra: pitching, defense, no mental mistakes.

"That's our Bible. We try to live by that, you know, and we do a good job," Calabrese said.

It gets put to another test Wednesday night against Honolulu. The winner goes on to the U. S. Championship with the World Series game looming after that.

But all that's just the cherry on top at this point.

"They're making friends all over and it's really been a great experience. These kids, you know, this is something they will never ever forget," Calabrese said. "The life lessons they learned and the work ethic and the discipline carries over to these kids as they get older. It's gonna help them, shape them as young men as they grow up."

And for Coach Calabrese it's confirmation of his coaching philosophy honed over 20 years: know your players.

"Our kids, they love us, they'll run through walls for us, you know and I'll do the same for them. They know I got that back they have ours," Calabrese said.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says a big celebration is in order when these kids get back home.

"What they've done, I mean, they've captured the hearts of all New Yorkers. This is like extraordinary," de Blasio said. "This would be a historic moment for New York City to see one of our teams win the Little League World Series."