Bryce Huntley #2 and Niah Williamson #9 pose in their new uniforms

New Castle, Indiana is like so many other small towns. It is not quite as obscure as Spiceland (population 800), where Draper is located, but it’s not exactly well known either. For all of you sports fans out there though, our 11-12 year old Little League Baseball team changed that last Friday. For the first time in the history of our community, we are sending a team to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. Not only did this group of boys win a state title, but they won the Great Lakes Regional title, beating out Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and then Kentucky in the final game.
It’s been a journey that all of us at Draper have traveled. One of our production employees, Chris Huntley, has a son on the team, Bryce Huntley. Bryce’s Uncle Curt works for me in audiovisual sales. Curt kept us all informed during games, sending play by play text messages and the occasional excited phone call. A group of us even took a late lunch last Friday so that we could watch part of the championship game on ESPN together. Todd Garner, one of our Regional Managers, also has a nephew on the team, Niah Williamson. So he’s kept other parts of our office informed of the many achievements of this team.
Draper is a fairly large company (over 500 employees) with a small, family-like atmosphere. We care about each other and we love to celebrate successes. Many of us live in New Castle, so even if we didn’t have these personal ties to the team, we’d still be shouting with joy in the wake of our Little Leaguers’ victories.  We hope to watch one of these victories on Friday night when Team Indiana opens their play.  Draper has donated a portable screen that will be set up on home plate at the little league diamonds in New Castle so that the community can watch the game and cheer them on together.
Our team is already in Pennsylvania, the kids missing up to a month of school (yep…we went back on August 2nd). There are a few days of festivities before games begin today. The World Series has 16 teams – eight from the U.S. and eight from across the globe. Bryce told Curt that they were rooming with the Middle Eastern/African team, Uganda . He can’t understand a word they say, but in this case, baseball is the universal language. They are all there to win, but perhaps more importantly, they are all there to learn and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Good luck to our New Castle Little League team, now called Team Indiana! We are so proud of you!

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