WRALL state champs celebrate with picnic, start to raise funds

WARNER ROBINS -- Warner Robins American Little League hosted a picnic for its state championship-winning 11- and 12-year-old baseball team Wednesday at the Flint Energies Sports Complex.

The team sat down with each other, decked in all red shirts and khaki shorts, to eat at the same table. Former WRALL presidents, a few of whom had been president during previous Little League World Series runs, were there to shake hands and offer encouragement.

“These boys have great chemistry together,” said Kylie Reed, mother of Coby Reed.

The WRALL All-Stars next will compete in the Little League Baseball Southeastern Regional Tournament, which starts this week in Warner Robins. Their first game is 7 p.m. Friday against North Carolina.

Shane’s Rib Shack, which provided the ribs, chicken wings, sides and drinks for the picnic, also has donated 10 percent of its proceeds from two fundraising nights at the restaurant. The money will go toward expenses incurred traveling to the state tournament in Atlanta and any future travel.

Trinette and Shane Rosales, who own Shane’s in Warner Robins, have children who play at WRALL.

Connor Bookout’s mother, Cindy Bookout, said she has heard from a few businesses that want to contribute, but they were still looking for more. Her hope was the further along the boys got in the tournament, the more donations would come in.

Bookout was also encouraged by one grandfather whose son played for the WRALL East All-Star team, who told her if the West won state, he would give her a check.

The East lost to the West in district play.

The team also will sell T-shirts with Georgia on the front and the roster on the back at Chick-fil-A on Ga. 96 after its 10 a.m. game against Florida Saturday, she said.

“Mothers have taken the fundraising ball and rolled with it,” said Beckie Adams, whose son is Tee Adams.

The boys will have new uniforms for the Little League Baseball Southeastern Regional Tournament. The uniforms will look exactly the same as last year’s red jerseys with red hats, said Buddy Deal, who is helping the team.

“For most of these kids, it is their dream that they would be able to play on that field (at Little League Southeast Park), and its happening for them,” said Cindy Bookout.