Coaches and Community Extremely Proud of The Hawks Baseball Team
The State Baseball tournament did not turn out the way we would have liked, but the coaches and community could not be prouder of these group of Hawk players.
Even though the Hawks fell for the second straight year in the State Semi-Final to the eventual champion Abilene Wylie, these Hawks are second to none when it comes to their talents, character, attitude, and work ethic.
Coach Riley Fincher put it best by saying, " The score didn't end up in our favor, but I could not be more proud to be the head coach of the best kids, on and off the field, in the state of Texas."
It was indeed a well played game between what has been the best two baseball programs in the state the past two years. It basically came down to one pitch, one play in the very 1st inning. A full count, two out bases loaded triple by Abilene Wylie, would be all they would do all day, hitting wise. Unfortunately, the Hawks were also held in check by the Wylie pitcher.
Fincher says his team did not hang there heads after getting quickly down, but they continued to fight, not for themselves, but for their teammates. After that 1st inning, Coach Fincher and his coaches told pitcher Caleb Bolden and rest of the team to continue to play fearless.
Fincher added, "We knew, no matter what the outcome was at the end of the game, that we would be able to look at each other and know that we laid it out all on the field." He said, "To see the way the guys rallied around each other in the dugout throughout the game really puts into perspective what type of great kids they are, and we are fortunate to coach."
As we have mentioned thoughout the playoff run of 10-0 before the semi, this team seemed to have a new hero step up each game to get the job done for the team. Catcher Keaton Russo attempted to be that guy by jump starting the Hawks with a solo home run in the 5th inning. Fincher was not surprised to see someone different step up it seems each game, " Up and down the lineup, this team would do whatever it took to make sure their teammates would be successful."
This team had a big core group of seniors who are now moving on with their lives away from Pleasant Grove High School. Fincher believes this Senior Class is going to go on and do great things in their lives. He says, "Like the senior classes before them, they took great pride in wearing black and vegas gold of the Hawks." Coach added, " I told the guys after the game, one loss does not define them as a team or a person, and they are going to be unbelievably successful because of the work ethic outside of athletics and in the classroom that they have shown.
Fincher, along with the team and the coaching staff, would like to thank everyone in the community for their support during this run. He says, "It was such a humbling experience to look up in the stands, not only in Austin, but at every home and away game and see the families, friends, fans, and colleagues, who took the time to travel and support team. We truly do have the best fans and support here at Pleasant Grove. Thank you to everyone involved."
Well said Coach Fincher, but we as a community would like to take this time to thank you, and your coaching staff of Paul Phillips, Blake Worley, Jordan Knight, and of course your players for being in our opinion, the best in the entire state of Texas.
Thanks for the ride this year, and we are already looking forward to next year and another exciting year of Hawk Baseball.