June 4, 2003
Moultrie--Colquitt County head coach Jerry Croft is often asked if this year's Packer team is similar to the one that captured the school's lone state crown back in 1997. "There are a lot of similarities. The chemistry I think is the biggest similarity. That 1997 team had a lot of team chemistry and this one does too."
That chemistry has helped the Packers get into the 5-A title game and perhaps more importantly get through a rough stretch in which they lost four straight ball games earlier this year. "Yeah, we were 15 and 3 at one time and we were crying the blues because we thought we should have been 18 and 0 and that type of thing. And then we lost four games in a row and we were really crying and we were just really hoping we would win another one then,"Croft said.
Senior pitcher Cody Green said, "Yeah it probably helped. It showed us that we can be beat at any time and we have to go out there and try our best, play hard every game and not be beat."
Now although it's been six years since Colquitt County last won a state title in baseball, for several of the current Packers it's been only four years since they were crowned state champions. You see from 1997-1999 several of those players were apart of Midget, Pony and Junior league state championship teams.
"This has been our dream since Midget league. We knew we could do it, we've done it before with this same team and hopefully we're going to do it this year," junior shortstop Will Soutwell said. "Our last year over there at the rec fields, we knew when this team got back together we'd have a chance. We knew we'd be close to it and we're here now," senior catcher Max DeMott said.
And by the time this weekend comes to a close, coach Croft hopes he'll be able to compare this year's team in another way with the 1997 team. "I told them that I would really love for them to get a state championship ring. And of course I would love to have one more before I retire, that would be nice."
Colquitt county hosts East Coweta in the 5-A title game Friday night in a doubleheader beginning at 5:00pm at Ike Aultman Field in Moultrie. If the teams split on Friday, the deciding game will be Saturday at 1pm.
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