ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – North Valley Little League will make history on August 5. For the first time in the league’s existence, the North Valley junior team will play in the southwest regional tournament.

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“It’s been a lot of work these boys put in,” said head coach Ernie Saiz. “From day one, opening day in April, these kids have been at it. To make this team right here, these are special kids that put this team together. They came through working day in and day out.”

Playing in district eight, North Valley went 3-0 in the district tournament to secure an automatic bid to the regional tournament as the host team. For many of the players on the team, they have been playing for North Valley for nearly a decade, and winning is something that not a lot of them have experienced.

“This summer has been really good because I’ve been on multiple all-star teams and I’ve never won a game,” outfielder Boaz Lobaina said. “This year was the first year I’ve ever won a game with an all-star team and won a championship ever.”

“We’ve been waiting for this,” said shortstop Elias Saiz. “We’ve been waiting to win and finally we got it.”

As for what has made this year’s quad so successful, players believe it comes down to how close everyone is with each other. Most of them began playing together when they were around four years old, and after playing alongside one another for so many years, everything finally came together.

“We got a lot of good guys together, there’s a lot of comradery with the team, ” third baseman Ramon Torres said. These are guys that I’ve been playing with since tee-ball, a lot of these kids. Working together for so many years and throughout this season, it’s good.”

As the team prepares for regionals, they are still asking for community support. They will be hosting a movie night at the park on Saturday, July 30 at dusk for a viewing of the Sandlot. Admission is free and there will be food vendors in attendance who will be donating proceeds to the team. The team has also started a gofundme campaign to help support the team.

North Valley will open the regional tournament against district five on August 5 at Santa Ana Star Field in Albuquerque. The first pitch is scheduled for 8 a.m.