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From the Sidelines: Longhorns show pride at state

Suffice to say last weekend&8217;s AISA state title tournament did not go quite as the Burnt Orange Community would have preferred. A rain delay of nearly four hours, a series of baffling calls and a runner-up finish are far shy of the memories the Longhorn ladies wanted to bring home from Montgomery.

However, the moxie the ladies displayed in rallying to beat Jackson Academy and keeping the rematch with Lowndes close showed a level of character that should do little but make the Marengo faithful proud.

Despite appearing frustrated, the girls exhibited tremendous amounts of poise and class when they continued to play the game with the respectful, hard-nosed approach befitting a championship team.

When the dust settled, the ladies were second in the state but had glimpsed glory and shown enough of the necessary intangibles to remove nearly any doubt they will return to Lagoon Park next season.

The ladies male classmates made their second straight trip to the state finals this week, looking to remove the bitter taste that accompanied last year&8217;s runner-up achievement.

The Longhorns&8217; opening game left much to be desired, as frustrations and an apparent lack of focus led to a complete meltdown and a loss to Southern Academy. However, on night two, the Longhorns took to the diamond with an air of confidence that had not yet followed the team during its 2008 campaign.

With their backs to the wall, they claimed a state championship by winning two straight games against a bitter rival.

Their offensive resiliency, defensive alertness and general &8220;never say die&8221; attitude in game two of the series nearly erased all recollection of the baseball atrocities they had committed a night earlier.

Simply put, the Longhorns found a way to win. At a moment when their desire was most in doubt, the boys of Marengo Academy stiffened their necks and displayed a championship-caliber &8220;will&8221; that assured the AISA AA state baseball championship was coming back to the Black Belt.