One more hill to climb for Tigers

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 26, 2004

Five goals were set. Four have been obtained. And only one more uphill climb remains for the 24-9 Demopolis High Tigers before that long, slow, downhill ride to the top of the mountain.

For the No. 2 ranked DHS Tigers baseball team, the journey to a state championship is plagued with many obstacles and one deadly climb through two, back-to-back one series playoff games.

The climb is steep, and in the past has proven to be fatal. But as the Tigers prepare for the final hump over single elimination mountain with today’s game against the Monroe County Tigers, there is a level of excitement and even a higher level of self-confidence that is sure to make a difference this time around.

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“There is something special about this group of kids,” DHS head coach James Moody said. “They have this confidence about them that I haven’t seen in too many teams in the past. They expect to win.”

But expecting to win and actually winning are two entirely different things as we have seen in the past. But Moody is correct, this team has potential and if they can pull out just one win today, their odds for winning a state championship will increase by ten fold.

The only obstacle that has never been removed for the Tigers is the one that lies right in the middle of the path to the state championship, the single elimination playoff game. For years they have been plagued by it, but surely in a year where the Tigers main focus is to “Remove The Obstacles,” the path will be cleared.

The Tigers really couldn’t ask for a better opportunity than the one they face today. Monroe County is the Area 2 Runner-up to Thomasville High School. Thomasville, a team that the Tigers have beat this season, beat Monroe County on three separate occasions this season. Not to mention, that this is also a team that the Tigers have faced and beaten themselves in the past.

Being on the road, shouldn’t be a problem either. The Tigers have had a season filled with plenty of road games. In fact, they have faced more teams on the road than at home this season.

According to coach Moody, the keys to this game rest in the start of it. “If we can get off to a good start, both on the mound and at the plate, then we will win.” Moody said. “We just have to play our game.”

Another key to this game will be the one that is formed before the game is even played, the mental key. If the Tigers take the field with the desire to win, they will. If not, then Monroe County, a (17-15) slightly above average team will take their spot and move into the third round. Game time is set for 12 noon.