The Stratford Tigers baseball team made history Thursday by bringing home the programs first state title.
“For this team to be able to do that, for these players to work the way they did and finish that great game off in the seventh, it was awesome,” said Head Coach Marshall Lehman.
“I think it’s great for the whole school, there have been a lot of people talking to us before we went down there, saying ‘please bring back a gold, it’s been enough of the silver.”
The baseball team capped off an already incredible year for Stratford athletics in which 3 other programs in made it to a state tournament.
“As the athletic director, i didn’t really catch my breath until after the boys state basketball tournament,” said Stratford Athletic Director Brad Grube. “I mean it was a mad house in this school, and we loved every minute of it.”
The madness began in the fall with football and volleyball, both of which finished as state runner-ups. From there the state bids extended to wrestling in the winter where several individual wrestlers brought home gold medals, while the team as a whole finished second in the state.
Then of course there was the baseball team in the spring that finally broke through to win the gold.
“You know right now we are flourishing in athletics and a lot of that has to do with the coaches we’ve hired,” Grube said.
“We’ve put great people in great spots. Our coaches make good players great and great players even better. And that’s through strength and conditioning, that’s through working together as a collaborative team.”
The collaboration of coaches, mixed with the hard work and drive to succeed by the athletes has created a winning culture at Stratford. It’s a culture that has set them up for a successful future, but it’s a culture that has also already given them a year for the ages.
“So we set the bar really high, and we are hoping to exceed that,” Grube said. “But this year, 2019, has been an outstanding year for Stratford athletics.”