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Little League World Series champs return to Huntington Beach

The Little League World Series champs got a rock star homecoming Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, in Huntington Beach after their win over Japan.

August 29, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The newly-crowned Little League World Series champions got a rock star welcome Monday night in Huntington Beach after their 2-1 win over Japan in Pennsylvania.

The Ocean View Little League team stepped off their bus and walked into a wild celebration with league members, family and fans.

"It's just amazing that our hometown is cheering for us," said Trevor Windisch. "A lot of people are here, and it's just a dream come true."

Coach Tony Bianca said the homecoming was one of the most memorable moments for him.

"I honestly can say I think it's the highlight of the whole experience. It's these fans right here, friends, classmates, everyone that supported us the whole way. It's just unbelievable," said Bianca.

The team's Hollywood ending in Williamsport, Pa., earned them the red carpet treatment. From their stops at airports in Cleveland and Houston to their arrival in Huntington Beach, the kids posed for countless pictures and signed autograph after autograph.

"At the beginning, before All Stars, we were like just another team, but now we're like celebrities. It's so cool," said Steven Kotkosky.

Some team members said the experience is surreal.

"It seems like it's still a dream right now, and it's been really good," said Ryo Takada.

Nick Pratto's game-winning single to beat Japan on Sunday capped a magical two-month journey as Ocean View became the first Orange County team to win the Little League World Series.

The city of Huntington Beach is planning a victory parade for Saturday, Sept. 10.