Utah little league team gets a second chance at World Series Championship
Jul 30, 2023, 10:14 PM | Updated: 10:53 pm
LAYTON, Utah — It was almost one year ago when the Snow Canyon Little League baseball team was in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, getting ready for the biggest game of their life – The World Series Championship, when their teammate, Easton Oliverson suffered a fall that nearly ended his life.
Now, Oliverson’s former team is headed to Regionals with one goal; win it all there so they get another chance in Pennsylvania. And this year, they have a new motto in honor of Easton and the opportunity that lies ahead.
“Our motto is second chances are earned, not given,” said head coach Kyle Hafen on Sunday.
The 12 boys are getting ready to travel with their head coach, who was also there last year when Oliverson nearly lost his life. He said the new motto felt appropriate based on what they’ve all watched Easton battle over the past year.
“You look at Easton and the situation that he’s in. I mean, the kid shouldn’t be here,” Hafen said.
The 13-year-old still can’t play baseball, and his dad, Jace Oliverson, said the year had been filled with love and blessing but still tough.
“We literally take it day by day with him,” Jace said. “So, we’re just grateful that after being given a zero percent chance, he’s here with us.”
Of the 12 boys on this year’s team, only five are returning from last year’s team.
Brogan Oliverson, Jake Tomlinson, Chaz Hickman, Brogan Coop, and Dash Avery are all closer now than ever before, partly because of what they went through last year on the field and partly because of their connection to Easton.
Brogan Oliverson is Easton’s younger brother and Coop was Easton’s roommate last year when he tragically fell from the top bunk bed.
“After he was hurt, it was just like all of us compacted together to like to pray with him, so it just brought us more as a team to fight for Easton and fight for us,” Coop said.
If the boys wanted a win last year, it pales in comparison to how the team feels now, and they’re confident. They said they’re doing it for themselves and their buddy who didn’t get the chance to play in the big game last year and who they still consider a brother.
The team will play their first game a week from today in San Bernardino at 1 pm.
As you can imagine, it costs the team a lot to travel. They have a Venmo set up if you would like to help these boys out, you can Venmo them @SnowCanyon-LittleLeague-1. Their games will air on ESPN and ESPN+.