WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — After a whirlwind week of fittings, tapings and practice, the Holbrook Little League team from Jackson plays their first game at the Little League World Series on Thursday.

Holbrook Little League at the World Series
(Holbrook Little League)

"Whirlwind is a good word to describe it," manager Rob Grano told New Jersey 101.5. The team went from Bristol, Connecticut, the morning after they won the Mid-Atlantic Tournament right to Williamsport. Grano said the team got new uniforms, cleats, gloves and other equipment as soon as they arrived. "We've tried to keep a normal schedule" in terms of practices and downtime. "I'm not sure they've grasped fully all that is going on."

Grano said they've been trading pins with members of the 15 other teams in the World Series Tournament, which starts on Thursday for Holbrook with a game against the New England champions from Fairfield, Connecticut, at 3 p.m.

"They share a bathroom with the team from Japan in their dorm. They're high fiving each other every day."

The World Series Tournament officially gets underway on Wednesday with the Grand Slam parade in Williamsport. About 40,000 people are expected to cheer on all 16 teams, each on their own float.

League president Tony Del Vecchio said there's been a big demand for signs and team T-shirts for people to show support for the team.

"The supply is not going to outlast the demand," Del Vecchio said, adding that Dick's Sporting Goods in Freehold and Brick were almost sold out of team jerseys.

"Having your team in the Little League Wold Series is "something you always dream of and strive for. That's the goal. It's a once in a lifetime event especially the fact that its Williamsport. We have gone to the World Series in Michigan for the juniors in 2009 but it's nothing like this. This is like Disney World for baseball."

Todd Frazier, who led the 1998 Toms River East team to the championship, is proudly wearing the team's colors with an official team shirt. "I'll wear that proudly for the next week here at the Stadium, and we'll go from there," Frazier said in a statement issued from the Yankees.

Del Vecchio said the shirt was delivered to the ToddMonster at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday by Frazier's brother Charlie.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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