Hundreds of Nolensville community members lined the greenway on Wednesday to celebrate the return of the Nolensville Little League team from the 2022 Little League World Series where they placed fourth overall and reached the American bracket championship.
The team, their coaches and families drove from Nolensville Historic School to Nolensville Park on all terrain vehicles and golf carts which were decked out in yellow, gold, and black, in celebration of the team that has helped to define the town as a powerhouse in both sports and community pride.
This pride was also on display throughout the Little League World Series when community members packed local restaurants for watch parties.
Wednesday’s parade saw countless congratulatory cheers, high-fives and fist bumps and concluded at the park where the world-class athletes autographed baseballs, baseball caps, posters and more for dozens of residents, many children, proving that the team of 13 boys have inspired so many of their peers.
One of those community members in attendance was Lauren Joseph, a Mill Creek Middle School teaching assistant who said that she has seen first-hand the excitement and inspiration that the team has brought to other children in Nolensville.
“It'll bring you to tears honestly, just to see these kids celebrate other kids and their classmates, Joseph said. “We've been watching the games as a community, and I just love this town, I love supporting these kids, I think that what they did is just amazing, and they deserve to be celebrated.”
Nolensville Little League Assistant Coaches Mark Carter and Evan Satinoff called the homecoming “overwhelming” and their ability to coach the boys “an honor.”
“To end up at our fields with all the people that are here, it’s a reflection of commitment from this community and love and support — It’s just truly an honor to be amongst them,” Carter said following the parade.
“It's not just what we did at the World Series — We started this journey back in May, and it started with assembling a team and practices and then districts and then state and then regionals, and then Williamsport [Pennsylvania, where the LLWS was held,] and in between all that it wasn't just going home and sitting on the couch,” Satinoff said. “These kids put in a ton of work to get where they were.”
Carter and Satinoff said that the team's ability to succeed at such a high level was also due in part to the coaches and volunteers who make up Nolensville Baseball, and the community who has believed in them since they were first old enough to throw a ball or swing a bat.
“We consistently saw progression, not just from a physical or skill set standpoint, but more importantly, from a team camaraderie standpoint, and that's what it takes to get to Williamsport,” Satinoff said. “You can have all the skills in the world, but if you don't work as a team and love each other as brothers, then you won't succeed, and we saw that from day one and progressed to the Little League World Series and the US championship game.”
The team is made up of eleven 12-year-olds and two 11-year-olds including 11-year-old Nash Carter, the son of Mark Carter, who both pitches and plays second base.
“Our coaches and parents were telling us how excited people were back home while we were playing but we didn’t really understand it until tonight when all those people came to the parade. We are very thankful for all their support this summer,” Nash Carter said, adding that the toughest part of their journey was the quality of their competition, while the coolest part was getting to play on ESPN.
Nolensville Baseball was also presented a $4,400 check from the Nesting Project during the celebration.
And while Nolensville didn’t place first this year, their superstar status in Williamson County and beyond is clear.