LUFKIN - After beating the competition in the Texas East state tournament, the Lufkin All-Stars are just a few wins away from being able to go to Williamsport to play in the Little League World Series.
The Lufkin All-Stars are headed to the regional tournament for the second time, their first trip since 2012, and for shortstop Blake Slaga, all of the team's hard work is paying off.
Slaga says, "When we played Pearland we were happy that we beat them because they go to regionals a lot and we're just really excited about it, I'm pretty sure that we knew we were going to come here because everyone here is really good on the team we work really hard two times a day we've been doing good in practice so we kind of expected to get here."
With the regionals quickly approaching, the team is working hard with two-a-day practices. But practicing can only take you so far. The All-Stars say the secret to their success is the bond they have off the field. And manager Bud Maddux agrees.
"They're buying in to hard work and I mean it's real simple you come out and you work hard and you're mentally tough you're going to succeed and that's what they've bought into and they've really been working hard and we're really proud of them," Maddux says.
The All-Stars are trying to become the first East Texas team to make it to Williamsport.
"Going to regionals is going to be pretty cool we all want to make it to Williamsport everybody in the league really wants to get there it would just be the coolest experience for me and the whole team," says Slaga.
"It would be a dream because I know everybody on this team has dreamed about going there and playing against all the other countries and all the other great ball players in the world and just be part of something big," explains Buchanan.
The Lufkin team will open the regional tournament on Thursday when they play a team from Colorado Springs, Colorado.