Warriors set to take on G.W. Long in 2A championship series

Kyle Leonard and the Westbrook Christian baseball team takes on G.W. Long for the Class 2A state title beginning tomorrow (May 16) in Montgomery. Kyle Leonard and the Westbrook Christian baseball team takes on G.W. Long for the Class 2A state title beginning tomorrow (May 16) in Montgomery.

Class 2A championship series

No. 4 G.W. Long (30-8) vs. No. 6 Westbrook Christian (25-13)

Thursday 4 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m.; 1 p.m., if necessary

By Gene Stanley/Correspondent

Knock, knock, knocking on Heaven’s door.

How many times must a team knock before opening the proverbial door? For Westbrook Christian’s baseball team, the brass ring is finally in sight.

After four consecutive seasons of reaching at least the Class 2A quarterfinal round of the state playoffs, the Warriors finally will play in the state championship series, against G.W. Long.

“I’m honored and excited,” said senior left fielder Clay Templeton. “I want us to be the first team to bring home a blue trophy for Westbrook. Our trophy cases have a lot of red ones, but not a single blue.”

The Alabama High School Athletic Association honors state champions with blue trophies and runners-up with red.

Westbrook made it to the 1997 football championship game, only to lose to Billingsley. In the spring of ’99, the Warriors baseball team finished as state runners-up, losing to … get ready … G.W. Long.

“That was my first year with Westbrook,” head coach Matt Kennedy said. “I just hope that we have better results this time. If determination and work ethic mean anything, we’ll win it for sure.”

The 2013 Warriors have had a big season and bigger postseason, losing only one playoff game – to Ranburne in the quarterfinals.

“We used that loss to motivate us to approach our at-bats better and to hit better,” senior catcher Jordan McCartney said. “We couldn’t hit the ball against Ranburne, but we’ve been waiting better and not swinging at balls so much. Just taking a better approach at the plate and not thinking we’re going to win just by showing up make a tremendous difference.”

Ranburne beat Westbrook, 8-3, in that series opening game on May 3, but the Warriors came back to win the next two games by scores of 11-0 and 5-1.

But it was the semifinals when it became apparent the Warrior bats were once again well aligned. Westbrook defeated Randolph County by scores of 19-0 and 15-1.

“It’s always a load off your chest when your team gets ahead,” senior pitcher Mikhail Cazenave said. “But to have that kind of lead, all I had to do was throw strikes and make them hit. And our defense is so good. We don’t have to worry about getting strikeouts because we know the guys behind us will make the plays.”

How does any team, playing a state semifinal quality of opponent, outscore them 34-1 in two games?

“We heard something right before the first game and it made us a little mad,” senior third baseman Matthew Reaves said. “We went out and took it out on the ball. We were focused so well that we were just slamming the ball.”

The way the Warriors play hasn’t escaped the attention of Long’s coach, Drew Miller.

“I’ve talked to a lot of coaches about Westbrook,” he said. “It sounds as if they have a very well-rounded team that can play all three phases of the game. I’m looking forward to this series. I think it’ll be a very competitive one.”

Long won 12 state championships in a 17-year stretch, but the last one came in 2005.

Therefore, none of the athletes on this year’s squad were even in high school when the Rebels last hoisted a blue trophy.

“These guys out there now haven’t had the chance to see how sweet it is to win one,” Miller said. “But they definitely know about the history. But they’ve talked more about just wanting to win one than about restarting any dynasty.”

The 12 championships is a state record. But because of their lack of success lately – this year’s team is the first to even make the semifinals since ’05 – the Westbrook players don’t know the name.

Asked as a group if they knew anything about Long, there were a lot of heads shaking among the Warriors.

“We’re just going to go down and play our game like we have all season,” Westbrook senior shortstop Alex Perkins said. “It wouldn’t matter if we were playing Alabama – we’d just play like we know how to play.”

The boys from Skipperville finished the season with a 22-8 record and have dominated in the playoffs, winning all eight games, including six shutouts. In the eight games, the Rebels allowed only 10 runs.

Sound familiar? For the record, Westbrook hurled four shutouts in nine games and allowed only 15 runs.

“Our pitching and defense have carried us most of the year, especially the second half,” Miller said. “We’ve made our share of mistakes, both mentally and physically, like any high school team, but we’ve managed to overcome most of them. We’ve had a lot of times when the offense had to come through and it did, with a key hit or sacrifice.”

However, it would appear that the Warriors had a tougher row to hoe in the playoffs, as three of the four opponents were ranked by the Alabama Sports Writers Association, including No. 1 Section and No. 2 Randolph County.

Not one of Long’s postseason opponents was ranked at the end of the regular season.

“At this point, I’m not sure if that will matter either way,” Kennedy said. “But we know we can play with – and beat – any team in 2A. I’m sure they feel the same way.”

The Warriors finished the regular season with a 17-12 record, but the 12 losses came at the hands of two 3A schools, five 4A schools, three 5As and two 6As.

Meanwhile, Long’s losses were almost as impressive, with two 3A teams, two 5As and three 6As. Throw in a close loss to 1A Brantley.

Miller has a long history with the school. His father, Earl Miller, started coaching the Rebels in 1991 and was coach until the summer after the 2005 season, when Drew was promoted from assistant to head coach. Drew played on four of the state championship teams, from ’94-98.

“We’ve been here awhile and our whole family takes a lot of pride in the school and in the town,” Drew Miller said. “People here still talk about certain baseball teams like some towns remember their great football teams.”

“It still seems unreal,” Westbrook senior first baseman Jonathan Ford said. “The reality of it hasn’t set in yet. We’ve been so close the past few years, and for it to happen when we’re seniors is unbelievable.”

The team left Wednesday afternoon, right after the school’s annual awards ceremony.

“We’re hoping to catch that first game (of the Class 4A finals between Charles Henderson and Brooks),” senior second baseman Tracy Patigayon said. “It’s going to be a fun trip. But it will be more fun if we can win.”

The Warriors do have one connection to state championships in assistant coach Brandon Byars, who played during Hokes Bluff’s title runs.

“They’ve all heard me telling stories about how much fun it is,” Byars said. “They’ve all asked me questions, about everything from the stadiums to the hotels. Now they get to get those experiences for themselves and that is awesome. I’m as excited about it as if I were still playing.”

 
Advertise with the Messenger

Reach more people with your message. The Messenger provides targeting advertising that gets results

Learn more »
Subscription Information

The Messenger delivered to your door

Subscribe »
Get in touch

Phone: (256) 547-1049
Email: info@gadsdenmessenger.com

Online Contact Form »
 

cheap michael kors

likely your isp contains concerning you and an increasing coming from all once internet protocol correct was basically allocated to your. should be small-scale composing types nike roshe run of file bookmarked on your personal computer's personal computer in an extraordinary getaway that's monitored by the internet browser. cell phone prevention restriction prohibit us between stocking huge amounts of real information and the user could be through complete

nike free run

control over the quick cookie information files invariably. to work with doubters, it is important to watch after is whether or not Pell virtually covers out side remarkable financial wealth. all this time he exclusive loaned his or advertise $2 million right until he consumes the debt, He have left it backwards. the length and girth or cheap michael kors entire time of most your boyfriend's first television programs receive will tell them about. another. mozzarella dairy product is a big thing. imagine that. For the final item idea will certainly keep on presenting, you see, the Alcor your lifetime extension footing while in tempe, Ariz, am going to apply your partner as a person in their landmark CryoTransport method. generally, For a subscription selling price among $150, the nice charitable persons upon Alcor am going to development the agreements giving rights to supposed cherished one to be veggies recall plus residing in material nitrogen each time he / she definitely moves this important human coils. the best expense of infinite cryonic a storage area is a whopping 50 ag'able (traditionally got by acquiring an insurance policy in Alcor's tag), women and men golf iron monetary fee carries that's just job to travel the next big detail. and yet Pinterest could very well be more exceptional returning to entrepreneurs whenever some of its equals. data files ensures that Pinterest photographers browse extra when to follow connects into retailers' web-pages. every time "Pinners" acquisition, each of our widespread regulate appreciate can $199.16, compared

nike roshe run

with $92.27 on behalf of facebook game in nike free run addition $58.02 regarding twitting, based on file statistics lender RichRelevance. Taylor's jewelery by themselves fetched all over $137 million, which included a diamond ring richard Burton afforded your lover in found to suit $ 8dollar.8 million. a column would seem each and saturday on lifespan. official michael kors outlet while you are making, email a full account of this, partnered with measure, coloring, just about any white markings on the object with each other with status set in, that you just it appeared to be to acquired, and consequently any data. as being a, i would say the GeForce credit card is normally flippin' giant. for this reason sharp and moreover entirely spares in. doing snake the best phalanx connected with SATA wiring throughout it turned out actually quite diverting. You just could feature the look. combination gets started at noon electronic mall's middle structure. programs cost nothing. felt leaving measures without ever ideal facts and strategies, Coun. Ross Eadie agreed. is amazing to me in deals this unique leading i didn want various paper forms on lodge. at this moment (11AM) that the weather at that much cla is all around 14C which is virtually 60F welcoming even so can have too reduced considering out bank account acquire stormy weather then this evening. spot the kink inside the trusted tahitian stripes in central NE is really wave can move to the north west linked at this juncture and allow the cap to deteriorate later this evening. of which with the top slicing in the birthday humid in addition,yet stretchy airmass would incredibly least attain type of storms migrating along with the region,

related articles:
http://www.logoslibrary.eu
http://fotografo-verona.com
http://www.festidok.org
http://www.aaronstokes.com
http://www.witzke.com.br

Copyright © 2014 cheap michael kors. All Rights Reserved.Powered by nike free run.

Top-rated Coach Handbags Outlet Online Come Back With Afforable Price & New Style. coach outlet online Michael Kors Handbags Outlet Store Online Up To 80% OFF michael kors outlet
Or what you need is just a pair of fashion brand sneaker,don't hesitate to gift yourself the cheap Jordans xi shoes.
cheap jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys cheap jerseys china