Challenger League kicks off Texas East State Tournament

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The Texas East State Championships for Little League is being held at Faulkner Park in Tyler.

Teams from across the eastern part of the state are competing in several classifications and age groups.

Perhaps the group that got the most attention, came from the Challenger League, which was established in 1989 by Little League and is devoted to allowing children with both mental and physical disabilities play the game of baseball.

Two Challenger teams from Rose Capital East Little League put on a show for the crowd at Faulkner Park.

Each player is accompanied by a 'buddy' who helps them run the bases and play the field.

No score is kept because everyone in this game is a winner.

"They just want to come out and play and have fun with it," said Corbett DeChiro, a challenger buddy. "My little brother is autistic and has Downs Syndrome, so I love coming out her with him, it is a great experience."

"I love seeing the smiles on the kids faces," said Sidney Dukes, a buddy. "It is gerat to see them run around the field. They do such an amazing job of taking each day as it is and living it fully.'

The Texas East State Tournament runs from Saturday until Wednesday when state title games will be played.

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