LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Barbe Baseball Coach Glenn Cecchini glances at the plaques on the wall of his award-winning teams over the years and jots down just how many of his players hit the big stage at the Little League World Series before becoming a Barbe Buc.
"All those kids that went to the World Series and came through our program have all went on to win State Championships," said Cecchini.
Cecchini thinks the current Little Leaguers have what it takes to come home World Champions.
"The Lake Charles team in Williamsport is extremely well-coached, disciplined, and very talented," Cecchini said.
The Barbe High coach has led his team to several victories and says that this Little League experience is exactly what the players need to take on competitors at the high school and even college levels.
"I've been to the Little League World Series and the College World Series, and the Little League World Series is just as big as the College World Series. It's huge, and it's the sense of community, and those kids have a togetherness and they learn to play together and I think it's a great thing," he added.
I got a chance to talk with some former Little Leaguers who've been to Williamsport at their work-out with their high school team and you might be surprised to learn the World Series isn't all about baseball.
They say it's pretty neat just to meet competitors from around the globe.
"Boys from Japan, Latin America... We became friends with them. We got to eat with them, swim with them, it was neat," said Gavin Cecchini.
"It's hard to communicate with them, but it makes it fun. You get to play against the best competitors in the world," said Tanner Hebert.
Speaking of competition, the pressure is on for the little guys and the Barbe freshmen leave them with some good advice.
"Work hard, and give 100% everyday and don't give up," said Nick Zaunbrecher.
"If I could do it all again, I'd try to have more fun. Forget about ESPN and just play ball," added Taylor Butler.
"Keep working hard, and love the game," said Paul Beglis.
Love the game...