Cumberland American coach: 'You're all my boys'
The kids from Cumberland will be returning as hometown heroes even though their exciting Little League World Series journey ended Monday night.
The Cumberland American team fell to Illinois 8-7 but perhaps the most memorable moment of the whole tournament thus far was what was said after the game was over by its coach Dave Belisle.
Text of Dave Belisle's speech:
"Everybody heads up high, let's talk for a moment here. Look, I gotta see your eyes, guys. There's no disappointment in your effort. In the whole tournament, in the whole season, it's been an incredible journey. Look at the score: 8-7, 12-10 in hits. It came to the last out, we didn't quit.
"That's us! Boys, that's us. The only reason why I'll probably end up shedding a tear is because this is the last time I'm going to end up coaching you guys. But I'm going to bring back with me ... and you guys are going to bring back, something that no other team can provide but you guys, and that's pride. Pride.
You're going to take back for the rest of your life what you provided for a town in Cumberland. You had the whole place jumping. You had the whole state jumping. You had New England jumping. You had ESPN jumping. Because you wanna know why? They like fighters. They like sportsmen. They like guys that don't quit. They like guys that play the right way.
"We got down to the nitty gritty, we're one of the best teams in the world. Think about that for a second -- the world!
"We need to go see our parents, because they're so proud of you. I want everyone to come in here for one big hug and then we're going to go celebrate. We're going to celebrate with our parents, and then tomorrow we're going to celebrate and come home to a big parade.
"I love you guys. I'm going to love you forever. You've given me the most precious moment of my athletic and coaching career, and I've been coaching a long time. I'm getting to be an old man, I need memories like this, I need kids like this. You're all my boys. You're the boys of summer.
"So for the last time we're going to try to suck it up and we're going to yell 'Americans.'?
ESPN captured the speech and emotion for all to see. Watch Dave Belisle's entire speech.