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Rhode Island Little League coach's speech moves players to tears

(ESPN)
Dave Belisle, coach of the Rhode Island Little League team from Cumberland, delivers an emotional speech to his young players after their 8-7 eliminating loss against Chicago.

After the epic fight that left them eliminated from the Little League World Series, the young players are obviously crushed. Turning their heads away, hiding their tears, Belisle asked them to show him their eyes. "There is no disappointment in your effort," he said.


    "It's been an incredible journey. Look at the score: 8-7, 12-10 in hits. It came to the last out, we didn't quit. That's us! Boys, that's us.

    The only reason why I'll probably end up shedding a tear is because this is the last time I'm going to end up coaching you guys. But I'm going to bring back with me ... and you guys are going to bring back, something that no other team can provide but you guys, and that's pride. Pride.

    You're going to take back for the rest of your life what you provided for a town in Cumberland. You had the whole place jumping. You had the whole state jumping. You had New England jumping. You had ESPN jumping. Because you wanna know why? They like fighters. They like sportsmen. They like guys that don't quit. They like guys that play the right way."

Promising a celebration and parade after the loss, Belisle asked his players for one last group hug. As the players stumble to grab onto one another, their quiet sobs can he heard in Belisle's mic.

    "I love you guys. I'm going to love you forever. You've given me the most precious moment of my athletic and coaching career, and I've been coaching a long time. I'm getting to be an old man, I need memories like this, I need kids like this. You're all my boys. You're the boys of summer."

Belisle has been a noticeable standout amongst other Little League World Series coaches this year, taking a far more encouraging and inspirational approach to managing his young athletes. When relieving a pitcher Monday night, rather than empower the next pitcher coming to the mound at the former's expense, he congratulated the relieved boy for a job well done. When a batter was about to go head-to-head against a Chicago pitcher throwing 75 MPH balls at the plate, Belisle told his batter that his batting wrist was an even match, and that he could get a hit. And that batter did hit.

Belisle continues the coaching legacy of his father, Bill Belisle, who coached the hockey team of the Mount Saint Charles Academy. With an amazing record of 904 wins, 129 losses, and 32 ties, his incredible career at the Academy was featured in the 2006 documentary, Ice Kings.

The Chicago team that defeated Cumberland will play against Pearland, TX tonight at 7:30 ET (6:30 CT).

What do you think about Belisle's approach to coaching these young men? Let us know in the comments below.

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