Canadians celebrate ‘a wonderful ride’

The Canada regional champion’s loss on Thursday at the Little League World Series marked the farthest the team had made it in the series in 12 years and while the team hoped to be the first Canadian team to win, their families couldn’t be prouder.

“This has been one of the deepest runs the team has gone on. It’s been a wonderful ride with the boys,” Mauro Manzi, father of Matteo Manzi, said. “You never anticipate how far they will go. I think when you get to this point they will be somewhat disappointed, but there’s a lot of people back home who will be proud.”

White Rock’s game with the Mexico champions from Guadalupe marked the first time that the Canada team had made it to the third round in six years. The closest the Canada region has made it to winning in recent memory was in 2005, with Whalley Little League getting to the international semifinals, and Langley Little League in 1998 making it to third place.

“It makes us feel very special to have these boys who have been playing together for years, to know it’s our group to make it this far,” Cade Hefflick, brother of Reid, said.

According to Ryan Scott, father of Sheldyn, a reason that the Canada team made it as far as they did is because of how close they are.

“A lot of the kids are good friends. They’re a good group of friends,” Scott said. “I think the comradery translates to the field.”

White Rock, an hour away from Vancouver, has won the Canada region championship on four occasions but has never gotten as far in the Series as they have this year.

“I am going to cry. I am so proud of them. We would have been happy without a win and they got two,” Tara Fluet, mother of Ty, said. “From a tiny town on the border of the USA and Canada, you wouldn’t dream to come here.”