DGF 12U Baseball Heading to Cal Ripken World Series Backed by Community’s Support
The Competition begins on August 1st in Visalia, CA
DILWORTH, Minn. — There is not a whole lot of traveling on the schedule for the DGF 12U baseball team.
They play their games in Moorhead or Fargo, a mere 10 or 20 minute drive from their practice field in Dilworth
But for their next game, they’ll be spending a lot more time on the road, when they head to Visalia, CA to compete in the Cal Ripken World Series.
“The moment we got the news, I was actually with one of my friends on this team, Bodie, and we just celebrated. We just jumped and we were all excited,” Rebel’s player Brennan Johnk said.
The decision to hop on the plane to play the game they love with their best friends in sunny California was a no-brainer for the players.
But head coach Brad Anderson knew there was a lot more than just pure excitement that would go into making the trip possible.
“[I] Wasn’t sure how my parents would react knowing the cost and time gone and things like that and the work involved,” Anderson said. “And they really have reached out and involved everybody, not just our DGF community, but the greater Fargo-Moorhead community too and really have attacked it with all kinds of energy.”
That energy went straight into fundraising efforts.
The team hosted a steak-fry in Felton, dinners at “The Hill” in Glyndon and the Hi-Ho in Dilworth, and even put themselves to work by busing tables at Pizza Ranch.
They also went a little old-school in their efforts, making time for some door-to-door greetings.
“I would be terrified. I couldn’t do what they are doing,” Anderson admitted. “But it’s a challenge to see who can go to the most houses and – not get the most money – it’s just ‘hey, I’m going to knock out this house, this house, this house.'”
The players have embraced that challenge and are grateful to their community, who have made the work much easier.
“It’s been kind of hard work,” Johnk said. “We’ve all come together and did our part and that is how we’ll be able to go. And thanks to the community. When we went around to people, they were open and giving us money and it’s just great.”
“All the restaurants that helped and the Felton Fry, and all the DGF community is very helpful,” DGF player, Alex Anderson, said.
It’s fitting that the community would play such a heavy hand in helping the boys get to the big stage. When they step out onto the field for the first game of the World Series, they’ll be representing their home from over 1,800 miles away.
“We tell the boys that they don’t have their own names on the jerseys, they got the Rebel name on the front and that’s for DGF,” Brad Anderson said. “What we have asked them to do is be ambassadors for their program, but also the towns that they live in.”
After all, the DGF community is giving this Rebels team the chance to experience something greater than they could have imagined.
“We may win seven we may win none,” said Brad Anderson. “But the kids are – maybe they have never been to California, or [there are] three who have never been inside of an airport. [It’s] just an amazing opportunity to share, not only with their teammates and their friends, but also with their family friends.”
Despite all the wonders California has to offer, when it comes down to it, there’s only one thing that really makes the trip worthwhile.
“Just playing ball, it’s the game,” says Alex Anderson.