Warner Robins American Little League is into the finals of the Georgia District 5 Tournament

Warner Robins American will face Dudley in the Georgia District 5 Little League Tournament finals.

Warner Robins, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — The Warner Robins American Little League is one of the better-known programs in Georgia. All-Star Team head coach Derek McElheny believes his athletes don’t understand the importance of their achievements just yet.

“All-Stars is about the best in the area. You’re representing Warner Robins American Little League, but you’re also representing a city. You’re representing your community, and that’s big. I don’t know if the kids know that yet; they’ll probably look back on it later to say I was one of the best in my community,” said McElheny.

The athletes on the All-Star Team come from all over Houston County, but the selection process is not only in the hands of the coaches.

“The kids vote for a good majority of them, and then the coaches fill in the rest,” said McElheny. “It’s a good make-up of kids. You’ve got all talent levels. We got some of the best out there, but you have some travel ballers while some of them aren’t travel ballers.”

The beauty of Little League is that the athletes can change positions on the field throughout the game, and Coach McElheny spoke on his process of working with those unique rules.

“You work to each kid’s strength. You don’t want to put a kid in a position where he is going to fail, and I don’t want to put undue stress on them because it’s already stressful as it is with the other team screaming for you to mess up or strike out. It’s just the way baseball is. Baseball’s a very tough sport to play,” said McElheny.

The focus of Little League tournaments is, of course, the kids, but sometimes we may forget that without several helping hands, none of these events would be possible.

“We wouldn’t be here without volunteers. Everybody out here volunteers. I volunteer—everybody on the board volunteers. We have parents that just want to be involved. They aren’t on the board; they just want to help, and they are eager to help. Many hands make light work, so we’re always looking for volunteers, anybody that can help anytime.”

The Warner Robins American team is now in the Georgia District 5 Tournament finals and will face Dudley at Scott Brown Field at 6 p.m.

If Dudley wins, they will be crowned champions; however, if Warner Robins American wins, then there will be a second finals game on Saturday since the tournament is double elimination and Dudley has yet to lose.

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