ARTICLE OF THE DAY

A Weekend To Remember
by Brian North
6/8/05

While it was a tough weekend for the ECU baseball team ("two and barbecue" is the saying this time of year, referring to the shortest stay possible in the postseason and the plans that immediately follow that second loss), it was a great weekend for four area scholastic teams.

DH Conley and Farmville continued Pitt County's domination in the state baseball ranks. The Vikings and Jaguars each won their first state baseball titles, as heard exclusively here on Pirate Radio 1250, but they continue the tradition set by JH Rose which has won five state titles. Add in the fact that South Central competed in the Eastern Regional Finals, and baseball is still king in Pitt County.

Both the Jags and Vikings played with a sense of urgency. Farmville had to win its last few regular season games to get into the playoffs, then played a couple of extra inning games to advance. DH Conley had to win the Big East Tournament to gain access to the NCHSAA playoffs. Along the way they beat their rivals from Rose twice in must-win situations.

North Lenoir became only the second team in NCHSAA history to win both a baseball and softball title in the same year. What makes the feat even more impressive is that those are the first two state titles in the school's 41-year history. The Hawks baseball team had a nice mix of upperclassmen and underclassmen. In fact two sophomores pitched complete game victories for North Lenoir to help head coach Jim Montague win his first title in 25 years of coaching. And the softball team completed some unfinished business. In 2004 they finished second in the state, but came back this year to win the title and finished with a 26-1 record. The Lady Hawks are the first softball team in the TV-12 viewing area to win a fast pitch softball title.

To make this past weekend even better, all four teams swept their respective series. Southern Alamance won the 3-A baseball title in three games, meaning the East won all four baseball classifications. North Lenoir was the only eastern softball team to win a title.

I have covered state championships in all high school sports, but I've never seen a weekend like this past one, and I hope there are many more to come for the sports fans in Eastern North Carolina.

Brian North
bnorth@wcti12.com