It was an exciting weekend for the 14-Under USSSA Waxahachie Chiefs at the Texas North AA State tournament that was held June 22-24, 2007 in Lewisville, TX. This tournament would bring 16 teams together from North Texas.
The Waxahachie Chiefs who are coached by Everett Johnson and Heath Sims took their team into the state tournament with high expectations because they had been here before and had come up short, but not this year.
They had a team of experienced players that had been through ups and downs all year having to deal with rainouts and a few last inning defeats. Going into the tournament they had won their division with a 6-1 record but had an overall record of 11-10 and had struggled at times in the field. Coach Sims said “that the struggles throughout the year helped to mentally prepare the guy’s and bring them closer together as a team, it also helped them to realize the importance of always staying focused and working hard”. Coach Johnson said he had told the boy’s from the beginning that “the goal was to prepare the guy’s for high school baseball and help mold them into respecting young men and we did, though it was frustrating at times but in the end a championship was won and a lifetime memory was branded”.
The Chiefs started out the weekend on Friday night playing a local competitor, the Ovilla Padres who they had faced four times and where 2-2 against. “We knew this would be a tough game” said Coach Johnson, but the guy’s came through with a victory by a score of 6-2. Then the next test would come from a team called the Dallas Pros who jumped off to a lead of 4-1 at the end of two. But Waxahachie fought back and would shut the Pros down and would win 7-4.
On Sunday morning the Chiefs would begin bracket play and single elimination against the Sherman USA squad that had been solid throughout the first two games of the tournament, but Waxahachie’s pitching was too much for them. The Chiefs would take a 3-1 lead after the first inning and would not look back. Chiefs 7 - Sherman 1, so Waxahachie would move onto the quarter finals round against the Keller Knights who had just come off a victory against the Coppell Copperheads by the score of 9-1. This was one of the best baseball games to be played all weekend with Waxahachie scoring 4 runs in the first but being shut down until the fifth when a homerun would put the Chiefs up 5-4. But it would go down to the 7th inning with Keller loading the bases and no outs but again strong pitching and clutch defense carried the Chiefs to another victory by the score of 5-4. The semifinal game would match Waxahachie (11-10) against the Dallas Drillers (19-1) a team that was ranked number one and had won the State and National title the year before. These teams had faced twice before with the Chiefs giving them their only loss, but going into the game the Chiefs had a goal of winning 6 games and knew they had to beat the Drillers to win State and they did. It would be all aspects of the game that would bring victory for the Chiefs against the Dallas Drillers; pitching, defense and clutch hitting saw Waxahachie win their fifth in a row by a score of 7-4 and move onto the final match-up of the day.
Sunday night the Waxahachie Chiefs faced off against the Grand Prairie Longhorns who had just come off of a winning a tournament in Grandbury, Texas just a few days before. Both teams had a record of 5-0 for the tournament and had seen strong pitching, hitting and defense get them to the final game but in the end only one could be victorious and it would come down to who would flinch first.
Going into the fourth inning the score was tied 0-0 with both teams showing why they had gotten this for, pitching and defense but you just knew it would come down to who would make the first mistake and it did. With Waxahachie drawing a one out walk in the fourth followed by a base hit to left, it happened, the Longhorns flinched and committed an error. This error would load the bases for the Chiefs and talk about clutch hitting; a triple down the right field line would clear the bases and the momentum would carry the Chiefs to an 8-1 victory and a state championship.