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Little League World Series: Sioux Falls Little League team, assisted by Ellsworth grad B. Jay Boom prepares for the event of a lifetime

B. Jay Boom, the Ellsworth High School graduate now entrusted to help provide leadership for a Sioux Falls, S.D., Little League baseball team about to embark on the experience of a lifetime, already knows his players are wise beyond their years."...

B. Jay Boom, the Ellsworth High School graduate now entrusted to help provide leadership for a Sioux Falls, S.D., Little League baseball team about to embark on the experience of a lifetime, already knows his players are wise beyond their years.
“With all the success we’ve had, it doesn’t seem like they think, ‘We’re better than this team.’ They are believing that everyone we play is just as good as we are, or else they wouldn’t be there,” Boom said.
Confidence, and a realistic outlook, has combined (along with some amazing performances) to make the Sioux Falls team the focus of Middle America as it prepares for the 2017 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. The 12-year-olds will open against Greenville, N.C., at 7 p.m. on Friday in by far the biggest event of their young lives.
Boom, an assistant coach, believes the young South Dakotans are well-prepared.
“We have three really good pitchers. Hitting-wise, we’re very patient -- which is a good thing, because in Little League everything is pitch count. We always tell them to be patient,” he said Monday, the day before he was to leave Sioux Falls to join the team in Pennsylvania.
The South Dakotans, under head coach Jeff Riley, have won big games in a variety of ways. They’ve been front-runners, and they’ve made amazing comebacks, too. They trailed Missouri 5-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning (Little League games are six-inning affairs, barring extras) during the Midwest Regional before plating six runs for a 6-5 win. They went 4-0 in the regional tournament, and when their title was secured, they did what any other bunch of youngsters would do.
“The kids were running all over, and throwing the hats and ball gloves. And I think the parents were just about as excited as the kids,” Boom said.
Sports has been a major interest for Boom throughout his life. A son of Marlin Boom, who helped put Ellsworth on the map for men’s fast-pitch softball, he is the younger brother of Chad Boom, one of the best fast-pitch players southwest Minnesota has ever produced -- a player who performed on the world stage.
Now Boom and the Sioux Falls Little League team are performing on the world stage.
The 14-player squad is a concentrated unit that originally began as four teams during the regular season. After the league season concluded, votes were taken to arrive at one 14-player team -- an All-Star team, of sorts. One of those 14 players is Boom’s own son, Logan, who patrols the outfield.
Sioux Falls didn’t have much time to celebrate after winning the Midwest Region in Indianapolis, Ind. The jubilation barely died down before they were transported by bus directly to Williamsport.
B. Jay’s advice to his team is to bask in the Williamsport environment.
“Just enjoy it,” he said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It’s one of those things you’ll probably never get to do again in your lifetime.”

 

Related Topics: BASEBALL
Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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