After his team lost the Little League World Series by the narrowest of margins, coach Dave Belisle knew exactly what to say.
Belisle’s team, the Cumberland American from Rhode Island, lost to the Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West 8-7 in the game in South Williamsport, Pa. on Monday. Belisle gathered his players, many of them in tears, and told them to look at the scoreboard.
“Look at the score,” he said. “8-to-7. 12- to-10 in hits. It came to the last out. We didn’t quit. That’s us.”
He continued: “You had the whole place jumpin’. You had the whole state jumpin’. You had New England jumpin’. You had ESPN jumpin’. You wanna know why? They like fighters. They like sportsmen. They like guys who don’t quit. They like guys who play the game the right way.”
If he was going to shed a tear, he said, it was because he wouldn’t get to coach them again. He pulled the team in for a group hug, and told them to hold their heads up high, because they had played “Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Absolutely awesome.”
And he pledged, in his New England accent, that they all would stay “friends forevah.”
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