Wagner, Henline reflect on Little League World Series run

Now that the Red Land Little League team is back in the Midstate, they’ve had some time to reflect on their run in the Little League World Series.

Karissa Shatzer sat down with star players Jaden Henline and Cole Wagner.

Henline and Wagner both owned the pitcher’s mound and hit numerous home runs. They contributed the team’s success to a lot of things. Most of the team has played together since tee-ball, they practice a lot, they have the same goals, and they have fun.

“I think it was amazing just to make it to the Little League World Series,” Henline said. “I know that we made it to the championship and fought through it the whole game and almost won it. I just never thought we would’ve made it there.”

“This has been the greatest summer of my life,” Wagner said. “I mean, just spending it with my best friends has added onto that experience.”

The pair reflected on their World Series championship game.

“Japan, they have always had kind of a different game plan than everyone else,” Wagner said. “They don’t really try to drive the ball as much as some other teams. They just try to make contact. I mean, they did drive the ball against us.”

“A lot of their hits, I was just in shock of how they hit that pitch. You know, the one kid hit the home run off of Jaden and that pitch was in the dirt. I have no idea how he hit that,” he said.

“I think they just covered up every single pitch. They knew what to hit. They hit every single pitch I threw at them,” Henline said. “I gave it my best, I think. They just crushed every ball.”

Despite that loss, Red Land is still the best Little League team in the nation, and they are famous for it.

“It’s just been crazy seeing all the attention,” Wagner said. “I love it, having the entire community to support us. It’s been really awesome.”

“Just trying to stay calm. Lay low,” Henline said. “I don’t say anything stupid on social media or stuff like that.”

What are the two stars looking forward to now that they are home?

“We have a GoWags Patriots team. I think we’re playing 13U next year,” Henline said. “I’m not playing football this year. I was going to, but baseball season went too far into that. And I think I’m going to play basketball some time during the school year.”

“My sister and my mom, I missed them a lot, so just being with them,” Wagner said.

They may be back in Red Land, but a piece of their hearts will always be in Williamsport.

“I think it was amazing just to make it to the Little League World Series,” Henline said. “I know that we made it to the championship and fought through it the whole game and almost won it. I just never thought we would’ve made it there.”

“Even though it didn’t necessarily end how we wanted it to, we know that we’re never going to forget that experience, ever,” Wagner said. “I don’t think we’re going to remember necessarily how it ended, all the details of that last game, but we’re just going to remember we made it to the world championship and played against Japan and had a really awesome game.”

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