The North Regina Little League won Thursday’s game against Little League British Columbia, making them the first Saskatchewan team in over 20 years to qualify for the Little League World Series.
Regina hosted the 2023 Canadian Little League Championship with teams from across Canada competing for their spot. As the final day wrapped up the 10-day tournament, North Regina and Little League BC met for the national championship.
North Regina Little League started out the tournament with a tough loss to B.C., but they worked their way back up, winning three in a row to get to where they are now. They advance to compete in the World Little League Championship in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
It is a dream come true for the teammates to know they will be representing their community at an international level.
“We had a team meeting on the field when we (first) lost, and everyone said, ‘Let’s go boys, we’re going to win this, boys!’,” said Nickson Hjelsing, Second Base/Pitcher. “My heart started racing.”
The North Regina Little League is like a family to him.
“We’ve been together since October (and) just training altogether,” said Hjelsing.
Before hitting the field on Thursday, Braeden McQueen said their coaches told the team to do their best.
“It doesn’t matter if we win or lose, as long as we do what we do,” he said. “It felt great … (Little League BC) were the team to beat and we beat them.”
Manager Cole Warken said this whole week has been a week of mixed emotions as he watched his team play hard together.
“The boys really fought,” he said. “I think the way the boys have been playing, especially at the end of the round robin and into the semi-finals, we didn’t have a doubt on the bench. We knew no matter the score, no matter the situation, the boys won’t stop fighting.”
North Regina Little League leaves for Pennsylvania on Saturday. The 2023 Little League Baseball World Series begins on August 16 to 27.