Special to the News-Telegram
BIRTHRIGHT — The goal is to win the area championship and then on to bigger and better things for the North Hopkins baseball team.
Six seniors are headed into their final weeks of high school baseball with a focus on advancing to the state finals by taking it one game and one series at a time.
The No. 24-ranked Panthers had a bye into the area playoffs. They meet the winner of Harleton/Cayuga bi-district playoff game at a time and place to be determined.
The state-ranked Panthers are 15-6 for the year, 14-0 in district.
The six losses have come in non-district game against playoff quality opponents.
In district the perfect 14-0 record was achieved by taking 11 games by the 10-run mercy rule.
However, the Panthers did lose to Class 2A Prairiland and Farmersville. The also were defeated by Class A state champion Carlisle. They fell to Celeste and Dallas Covenant in very competitive non-district games.
“We play a tough non-district schedule to get ready mentally and physically for the playoff grind,” said Tim Henderson, North Hopkins head baseball coach. “We needed to see quality playoff type pitching and atmosphere in order to be successful at the next level.”
For seniors Kevin Meza, Jessie Williams, Silas Whaley, Blake Adams, Rheston Sills and Alan Morehead, it is a final opportunity to advance in the playoffs and end their careers at North Hopkins on a high note. The seniors have experienced success this year in athletics. All six team members played on the undefeated District 16-A basketball team.
Completed both seasons with championships and perfect records is quite a feat, especially considering all the activities student-athletes participate in during the spring. Baseballl players were also very active in agriculture events, track, UIL academics and one-act play that reached the area round.
“Coach Henderson, assistant coach Joe Smiddy and all the players have done an outstanding job this year. This team will leave quite a legacy with their accomplishments,” said Larry Tucker, North Hopkins athletic director. “With all that goes on in the spring, it’s hard enough to get everybody at the same practice and that does not includet the time mssed because of bad weather. I am very proud of all of them.”
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