The Warwick Little League North 12 year old softball all-star team grinded out a tough 1-0 win over Coventry at Bend Street last Friday evening to claim its seventh consecutive District 3 title, punching its ticket to the state tournament next week.
After topping Coventry 7-5 earlier in the week, Warwick North was confident heading into Fridays match despite knowing it would be a tight battle.
“(We were) very confident. Knowing that we played Coventry before, knowing that our backs were against the wall,” said Warwick coach Kevin Burr after the win.
Enjoying the game and relishing the moment was the ultimate goal for the club according to Burr, which paid dividends throughout the district tournament as Warwick answered the bell time and time again.
“Our whole philosophy for the group this year was to play loose, play relaxed and have fun. You can teach this game at a high level and still have fun, I think these girls really adapted to that,” said Burr.
Warwick North Little League softball has solidified its spot among the premiere programs in Rhode Island over the past decade. Burr was especially proud of his team for stepping up against a tougher level of competition, as District 3 has realigned and improved since last season.
“This year was much different. District 3, with (district administrator) Bev Kenney’s help, we were really trying to get that district to be (competitive) … the skill level in that division is not just walk through anymore. This season was a legitimate district championship that actually meant something,” said Burr, who also credited the parents for their contributions throughout the season. “The hard work that (the players) put in this year is just over the top. It was hard work, dedication. Hats off to the parents too, they don’t miss anything. They’re there for every practice, they’re there helping with the fields all throughout the season.”
The state tournament will kick off next Monday, as Warwick North will take on the winner of District 1 at Bend Street. Burr expects more of the same from his club as they prepare to take the next step.
“It’s the same thing, hard work, dedication and staying loose … just have fun,” said Burr. “A lot of these girls play travel softball, big competitions, big tournaments, it’s something that these guys see on a weekly basis. This is just kind of what we do this group. It’s what we do.”