COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Northern Little League baseball team is already in Williamsport, Pennsylvania preparing to play for the Little League World Series title.
Their parents have been in the stands cheering them on every step of the way, and they're making plans to joins their sons soon.
Being a parent of a little leaguer comes with costs, whether it's concession stand snacks, new uniforms or gas money driving them to and from games, but the parents of the Northern Little League team are bringing on a lot more than your average sports expenses.
Greg Lang, whose son Matthew plays on the team, said, "It's awesome. I can't put it into words. We are ecstatic as parents that he's able to go up there and be able to play in the Little League World Series instead of being a spectator."
Jacob Pate's father Jody agreed, "We're proud, they've worked their tails off all season, in the spring and into the early summer and they've worked hard. They've done what the coaches asked them to do and this is their reward."
Pride is certainly something these parents don't have a shortage of, but funds to send their kids to Williamsport, is.
"You don't mind to do it, don't get me wrong. This is an awesome experience for your kid, but it is a burden to us financially," Lang told News Leader Nine
Lang adds the team worked throughout the year with various fundraising efforts, "We didn't have a chance to do a lot of fundraising, except when we were on the way to Regionals, then we worked for about a week or so. We got out and worked as hard as they could."
But sending the boys up north and then trying to pack up the family is stretching the wallet pretty thin.
Pate explained, "The absolute minimum, with the hotel for the week, and flights, the cheapest is easily over $2,000."
Lang added, "By the time you add the hotel, flight, rental car, you've spent $2,000 or $3,000 before you even realize it."
The team has gotten support from local businesses, and Team Sports will be giving Northern Little League proceeds from selling Southeast Spirit gear. Pate said, "Of course it will support Stan at Team Sports, but it will also help the team and the players up in Williamsport."
Starting Thursday you can stop by team sports on Veterans Parkway and buy gear to support the team. You can also donate money directly to the team through a Pay-Pal account at http://northernll.org/