Freehold Township Little League on the road to Williamsport
The Freehold Little League All-Stars are on the road to the Little League World Series after beating Upper Township 14-1 to win the state championship on Monday.
The team starts play on Sunday in the Eastern Regional Tournament in Bristol, Connecticut against the yet-to-be determined New York state champions.
Manager Jeff Gorman said the team, made up of players from 8 different teams are mostly in the 7th grade. They started their playoff journey in the District tournament with wins over Marlboro and Manalapan. "Marlboro has actually been our main rival for years and this year we were able to take them down," Gorman said. The team moved onto the Section 3 tournament where they defeated defending champs Bordentown before entering the Joe Graziano Little League State Tournament.
"It takes a village to go this far and to raise children so we had all the fans and family come out and be part of our celebration picture with our championship banners," Gorman said. "It really epitomizes this movement of having the whole town around us. All the parents, all the fans. I'm getting incredible outreach and support from friends and community members I haven't spoke to in a while."
Gorman said the team is excited to represent New Jersey in the tournament and looking forward to their tour of the ESPN facilities. He encouraged his team to "dream big" this season and this is one item off the team's "bucket list" of goals.
Upper Township manager Frank Furmo took his team's loss in stride. “Being second in the state for a little town like Upper Township is something to be proud of,” Furmo told the Press of Atlantic City, which reported that parents and fans gave their team an ovation after the game despite the loss.
A Go Fund Me page has been created to raise funds for the team's trip to Connecticut.
"They have to be in Connecticut this Saturday which leave a very short time to raise money for their trip," wrote Nancy DiFranco Levy, who called it a "one in a lifetime opportunity for these boys." Gorman added that while the team has a place to stay, the parents are on their own for lodging for the week.