Time To Heal
The Boonville 14-year-old All Star team had 365 days to wait and dream about achieving a goal. Last year, they were up 3-0 in regionals against Iowa, and then things took a turn for the worst.
A year is a long time to wait, but plenty of time to heal.
"We were in the second inning, top of the second and I was stealing and the batter behind me hit the ball and I was running too hard and hit the base wrong and broke my ankle," said Latavius Shelby, outfielder for Boonville.
"He was on the field for about an hour to an hour and a half and the kids just went from a high to a low, there was tears in there eyes and there were tears in my eyes," said Bobby Joe Kemp, Boonville head coach.
The team came up one run short, and used the loss as a gain this year.
"That's all the kids talked about all winter long; they couldn't wait for ball to start and get back at it and see what they could do this year," said Mark Strange, Boonville assistant coach.
Latavius Shelby needed months for his ankle to heal.
"He actually couldn't do any sports in eighth grade until baseball started back up," said Kemp.
"It was hard because I was on crutches all year, and all my friends were playing sports that I wanted to play with them," said Shelby.
Once the season started, the team picked up where they left off.
"This year, it seems like everything has been working and going right," said Strange.
Boonville hosted and won a regional tournament, earned a trip to the Babe Ruth World Series, and got a bit of revenge by beating Iowa along the way.
"It was awesome, it was awesome, everyone was on their feet and it was the biggest crowd I've seen in this park," said John Hohensee, another Boonville assistant coach.
"I've played out here my whole life and I've never seen a crowd like the one we had out here for the championship game," said Strange.
The last time the Boonville All-Star team made the World Series, the year was 1964. More than four decades later, the team is headed to Virginia.
"The boys are excited and they want to leave tomorrow," said Strange.
A healthy Shelby is ready to keep Boonville going. Boonville starts play on the 19th in Virginia, and plays the host team in its first game.