Argyle High baseball coach Ricky Griffin marvels at the way his Eagles have stood up to every challenge this season in defense of their AAAA State and National title.
“I purposely made our schedule a lot tougher this season than last to make sure that we didn’t think we could just cruise based on what we did last year,” Griffin told Texas Scorecard of his team’s perfect, 37-0, 2018 finish. “Our model is ‘just 24,’ meaning every guy on our roster has to be totally committed to selflessly doing whatever it takes for the team and these guys take that seriously.”
The proof is in the results, with the 29-1-1 Eagles now having won 56 of their last 58 games heading into their opening round playoff showdown against Stephenville High.
“I think if we do what we’re capable of doing and play the way we can, we should win another state title,” Griffin said.
With eight of nine starters back from last year’s history-making squad, the veteran coach has every reason to be thinking repeat.
“We’re a team in every sense of the word,” he said, adding that returnees Preston King, Dillon Carter, Brenden Dixon, Chad Ricker, Hayden Clearman, Austin King, Alex Gonzales, Cade Merka and Bo Hogeboom have all found their moments to shine this season.
Right-handers Sean Bolin and Tate Van Popel lead a rotation that has notched at least eight shutouts.
“Nothing comes easy and everything just gets harder each year as we’ve become more of a target, but this is a mature baseball group and the kids want to win back to back titles,” Griffin added. “We don’t have to do a lot to keep them motivated.”
The Eagles open their best-of-three series against Stephensville on Thursday at neutral site Brock High School.