State Championship ends an unforgettable season
While the ending of the season was not favorable by the Mustangs, the season was an experience of a lifetime.
May 23, 2019
Making history one sweep at a time, the Mustangs fought hard during the Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA State Championship against the Loganville Red Devils at Coolray Field on Monday, May 20. While they fought hard, the Mustangs fell to the Red Devils in the doubleheader games with a final of 6-2 and 7-6.
“It was an experience of a lifetime. Just the way the kids came together and the school and the community got behind them [players] and the support that everyone showed…The family atmosphere of the whole ride we had was amazing…You can’t describe what you go through in games like that,” Michael Edwards, head coach, said.
For the Mustangs, it was an experience of a lifetime by playing in the championship.
“It’s been a lot of ups and downs and we’ve had a lot of team bonding…and I think our team has grown to being a brotherhood and nothing else can compare to that and I will honestly remember this team to the day I die and it’s been a dream and I’ve loved every second of it…This team has been a history maker,” Nick Stowers, senior, said.
With the team making their final memories on the field, the emotions ran high.
“Even though it didn’t come out how we wanted it to, it was a lot of fun and the trip to it was amazing and I couldn’t ask for a better way…and it was bittersweet and it was sad because the seniors were done forever but we made it to the State Championship and we made it as far as a we possibly could, so there is nothing to hang your head about,” Mason Cosper, senior, said.
Most athletes and coaches have their favorite season(s) of their preferred sport and this season holds a special place in Chopper Clark’s, assistant coach, heart
“It’s been a great ride. We started off kind of rocky. We had our ups and downs at the beginning, but the way everybody gelled together throughout the season, it really became a brotherhood and we just go better and better as the season went on,” Clark said.
The Mustangs ended their season 29-12 and could not be more happier.
“It was wild. We finally figured out how to play as a team instead of as individuals about halfway through the year and that’s when we really started clicking,” Cosper said.
With any team, there is always a motto or theme they follow by until the very end and the Mustangs chose “soldier”. To them, being a soldier is their life on and off the field.
“Being a soldier is a lifestyle and it’s the way you live life and you live every day like you’re playing a game like a State Championship and that’s just a way I think they [players] need to live their life and if they live their life like that they would be successful,” Clark said.
Between practices and games, memories and favorable moments occurred.
“Definitely playing in the State Championship and making school history and getting as far that we got…and probably the spring break trip we had. We had fun as a group playing in the spring break tournament,” Edwards said.
Clark has many favorite memories from this season and could not choose just one.
“I have so many favorite moments and it’s probably just the camaraderie between the guys and the coaches. The way we can just sit around and talk and joke around made everything fun and it was fun every single day,” Clark said. .
For the past four years, this was Stowers favorite season because of the history made.
“Probably Game Three versus Buford and just the way the team came all together even through the adversity of the entire game and the ups and downs and being down almost every inning and coming back and honestly my personal favorite moment was making the final out in Game One against Buford,” Stowers said.
This season there were 15 seniors on the team and the underclassmen watched them lead to know what to accomplish next year.
“We broke the barrier and it’s time to go one step higher and hopefully get some jewelry next year and we all love them and the coaches are going to have them in good hands and they are going to be really good players,” Evan Boyle, senior, said.
The 2019 season is already in the books and Edwards is ready to build the team back up for the next season.
“Just these young kids building on to what these seniors left them. That’s the only thing to do, keep it rolling,” Edwards said.
The season ended not in the most favorable way for the Mustangs, but the players made some incredible accomplishments. Congratulations to Cason Barnett, senior; Baylen Sanders, junior; Dalton Thomas, senior; Patrick Holloman, junior; Chaz Salter, senior; Garrett Carter, sophomore; Evan Boyle, senior; Cameron Land, senior; and Tyler Richardson, senior, for making the 2019 4-AAAAA All Region Team. Also, congratulations to Sterling Richardson, senior, for obtaining the title of Pitcher of the Year for the 2019 4-AAAAA All Region Team and Edwards for being named Coach of the Year for the 2019 4-AAAAA All Region Team.
The Mustangs will be back in action next season and updates can be found on Twitter at @olabaseball.