Through the clubhouse, under the concourse of Breen Field in Bristol, Conn., there are rooms for traveling teams.
Walk through the main door and to the left is the coaches’ room, complete with a full bathroom and three beds.
To the right is a larger room, with sets of bunk beds, small chests of drawers and one bathroom.
The experience is much like that of a college dorm, sharing space, food and a bathroom with your peers.
The boys of Bedford Little League, however, are getting a taste of this lifestyle far before they head to college.
Representing New Hampshire as state champions, Bedford’s 11- and 12-year-old all-stars have been in close quarters since Friday, Aug. 3, when the club traveled to Bristol, Conn., to compete in the regional tournament.
As of Tuesday, Aug. 7, Bedford was 2-1 and, with a game scheduled against Maine on Wednesday, Aug. 8, had earned a ticket to one of the semifinal games.
The outcome of the Maine game would impact the opponent Bedford would play in its semifinal, on Thursday, Aug. 9, either at 10 a.m., or 5 p.m.
Despite holding a fate unknown, the club’s journey has been instrumental in drawing teammates, and their community, together.
“This has been such a wild ride, for everyone who has anything to do with the team, or Bedford Little League in general,” said Bedford head coach Kevin Lavigne. “The guys are having such a blast, sharing a dorm room with each other, seeing the other teams in the complex, and seeing the town come together to support them.”
With Bristol about a 2.5-hour drive south of Bedford, many parents and supporters have taken time off this week to be there for all of Bedford’s games.
If the all-stars win in their semifinal, which will broadcast on NESN on Thursday, Aug. 9, they play in the regional championship, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 11, at 6 p.m.
After winning its first game of the tournament, a 13-5 win over Vermont on Friday, Aug. 3, Bedford had two days off before facing Rhode Island on Monday, Aug. 6, a 17-9 win, and Massachusetts on Tuesday, Aug. 7, a 9-5 loss.
Having the weekend off allowed them some free time between practices.
“They were just hanging out, talking to the other all-stars about their experience and taking it all in,” said Lavigne. “They were so happy to have a lot of fans drive down here from home over the weekend to wish them well.”
While some fans took time off to head to Connecticut others have been making the trip daily, joining up with fans clad in red shirts in the stands.
“I drove down there and home for the last few days,” said Jim Flanagan. “It’s definitely a nice complex and the experience is something special for these boys.”
Lavigne estimated about 75 to 80 fans for Bedford each game. Bedford’s games from Tuesday on are televised, providing a different experience for fans.
“It’s cool to see the cameras around in the stands too,” said Lavigne. “You’ll have a play happen on the field and then the cameras will get the reactions in the stands and parents love it. It’s been a really neat experience for everyone involved.”
If Bedford wins the regional title, the team leaves Sunday, Aug. 12, for Williamsport, Pa., to compete in the Little League World Series.