Lamar Little Leaguers head to state tournament, get surprise practice at Constellation Field

SUGAR LAND, TX (KTRK) -- The Lamar Little League is sending three teams to this year's state Little League Championship this weekend in Tyler, TX. The 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds will all play this weekend.

The oldest group of boys, the Lamar American team, is just six wins away from a potential trip to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA.

"You gotta buy in. You gotta believe in yourself and you gotta always think that you can win. And this group, they do that," said Coach Carlos Leon.

The team, which is based in Richmond, had a final practice this morning at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, home of the Sugar Land Skeeters.

They're undefeated as a team so far with nine wins. No losses.

"We just work together. If one guy is going down one game, not doing a great game, another guy is picking us up," said catcher Reese Beheler.

Much of the team has played together since they were 5 or 6 years old. They're like family, in a way, drawing closer in times of adversity. Nearly 3 years ago, Coach Carlos Leon developed a brain tumor.

"I'm still on 'this side' of the turf as they say," Leon quipped.

Seeing their coach battle cancer and win, the boys say, has given them a great desire to show him how much his effort has meant to them.

"That motivates the team to don't stop. Just keep on going -- and fight," said player Parker Galvan.

Leon reminds the boys that while they need to focus, they should also savor the moment.

"You're thankful for everything you go through. You're thankful for every journey your on and thankful for all the gifts that you get from God," Leon said.

If the team can win this weekend, they will move on to regionals in Waco. If they can continue to win, they would then qualify for the Little League World Series. null
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