BRENNAN: Two title games in one day is something that may never be seen again

0
31

Everybody wearing black and gold on Championship Saturday knew how lucky they were to be at DeLuca Field and Palmer Field.
Many times, we’re not prescient enough to know an historic day while it’s happening, but not a single Woodland fan June 11 was unaware of the significance they were watching.
For the first time in school history, the Hawks competed in two state championship games not just in the same season, but on the same day. For a small-town public school, it was an accomplishment that isn’t usually equaled and may never happen here again.
The two games landed on opposite sides of the expectations spectrum. The softball team entered its championship matchup undefeated and a heavy favorite. The baseball team entered its final on a hot streak but as an underdog facing the state’s top pitcher.
The results matched the expectations. The softball team’s 4-0 win over Oxford was a coronation of a squad that’s been as good as any in the state over the past two years.
The baseball team’s 20-1 loss to Joel Barlow stung in its lopsidedness but was still an achievement for a program that’s been knocking on the door for almost two decades.
Gas prices be damned, it was a fun day to travel the 94 miles from Woodland to Stratford to Middletown and back to Woodland, and the couple hundred people who went to both — and yes, it included a host of Woodland staff members who pour more into their school community than any educators I know — won’t forget it.
Hawks baseball coach Steve Bainer summarized it best.
“We talk about the family feel at Woodland, and it felt like a family that night,” Bainer said. “Not just that night, but it was a family feel all throughout the playoffs. There was nothing more important in Beacon Falls and Prospect over the past couple of weeks than Woodland baseball and softball, and that was really cool.”
Reach Kyle Brennan at kylebrennan1@yahoo.com