May 9, 2006
Americus -- The Southland baseball team knows what it takes to win a state championship.
The Raiders have five state titles, and will be looking to add number six Friday against North Cobb Christian.
Southland winning their last championship in 2004, meaning this years seniors are no stranger to the spotlight.
They faced their toughest test of this postseason in the semi-finals, advancing by knocking off the defending state champ Tattnall in three games.
Senior Cam Ellis says, "We have a great team. They're still a great ball club. That has to be the most stressful series I've ever been a part of in my life."
Head coach Ty Kinslow says, "Saturday we got beat up there pretty good. They put it to us. Our guys didn't roll over, we came back and showed our character."
Senior Jody Sellers adds, "We knew going into the playoffs that to win it we had to get by them."
The series win moves the Raiders in to the state championship game against North Cobb Christian, where they'll be looking for their second championship in the past three years.
"Some of these guys who are seniors played a major role in 2004 as sophomores," says coach Kinslow.
The seniors say the experience should be a major benefit.
"I was nervous my first year and I'm not near as nervous now," says Sellers. "Every game in the series when we won it in 2004 I was nervous. So far it's just been a walk in the park, and I don't see why it should be anything different for the state championship game."
Ellis adds, "We know what to expect when we get there. Not really as much nervousness. We can be nervous, but nearly as much since we already experienced it."
They say this team could be even better than the one that won it all in 2004.
"We all knew we had the team to do it," says Sellers, "and to come out here and play to the best of our ability and come through and win another one would mean a lot."
Coach Kinslow adds, "Guys remember that senior group that went out on top."
Southland will play game one Friday at North Cobb Christian, with a double-header Saturday if necessary.