Saturday, June 10, 2023

Argyle is home of hardball champions, again

Argyle baseball took the state title for the second consecutive year. (Photo by Andrew Fritz)

It was another clean sweep for the Argyle baseball teams this month.

Argyle High School and Liberty Christian School both brought home state titles for the second straight season; and did so in impressive fashion.

Argyle defeated Sweeny 6-3 in the State Championship game to claim its second consecutive state title; the third in five years. Coach Ricky Griffin did not mince words in his assessment of the season.

“The team was very talented and therefore very consistent,” Griffin said

The Eagles finished 40-1-1 on the season and Griffin attributed the team’s success to the experience the team gained from the past season’s playoff run.

“We had so many returners from last year’s National Championship team,” Griffin said.

As for his crosstown counterpart, Griffin said he could not be happier for Liberty Christian Athletic Director Johnny Isom and the Warriors for their continued success.

“I have a lot of respect for Johnny and what he has done at Liberty,” Griffin said.

The feeling is mutual from Isom, who said the Liberty Christian program is well-aware of AHS’ prowess on the diamond.

“We keep up with what they are doing and we really want to see them do well,” Isom said. “Just speaks volumes about the baseball talent in our area. They have created something very special up the road and we believe we have done the same.

“I think if you really got to the core of what makes both programs go, you would see a lot of the same qualities. We are super proud of the Eagles and wish them nothing but success moving forward.”

Liberty Christian defeated St. Thomas by a score of 8-5 to win the TAPPS Division I state title and wrapped up the season with a 26-13-1 overall record.

Isom said that he knew that repeating as State Champions would not be an easy task, but said his team persevered and focused all season long.

“Any time you come into a situation where you are the defending State Champion, you know right away the target that you have on your back,” Isom said. “You know that you are going to get everyone’s best effort, so you work in such a way to prepare for that. It is a mindset that starts in offseason and carries through to the last day of the season. We have a saying that we tell the boys at the start of our season and continue it throughout the season.

“We tell them that we do not have to be the best team we can be right now; we just need to be heading in that direction. This team bought-in to that saying and continued to get better and better as the season went on.”

Isom said he could not be more proud of his players and said what made the Warriors so special this season, is that nothing came easy to them.

“They had to scratch and claw for everything they got,” Isom said. “This bonded them in a way that very few teams are able to achieve. There were ups and downs as the season went on, but they stuck together as a team and persevered. Also, the senior leadership was second to none. We have Godly young men who were super easy to coach and nothing would have been accomplished without their buy-in.”

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