The American Legion Post 74 baseball team rolled through the first part of their schedule with a 17-0 record.
"The best team doesn't always win a baseball game, so we've been fortunate," said Post 74 coach Mike Maynard. "We've won some games that maybe we shouldn't have won and we've played really well. We have older kids that are just kind of leaders that we kind of just piggyback on and follow those guys."
"It's an easy team to lead," says third baseman Kyle Vidano. "Everyone follows everyone, listens well, everyone does their own thing. These kids are great."
As the team gets ready to host the district tournament this weekend, leadership and team chemistry are two things they will rely on to make a postseason run. But those two things don't always come easily to legion teams.
"They all get along so well, which is a challenge in the summer because they're rivals in high school," said Maynard.
With the rivalries long forgotten and the postseason starting, Post 74 is getting ready to defend their state title.
Even though they won state last year and finished the regular season undefeated, a loss from 2013 is driving them to make an even deeper run in the playoffs this time around.
"I think we can make it really far," said pitcher Dustin Knight. "We've got the pitching to do it. We've got a deeper staff than I think we had last year, and right now I guess if the bats come to life I guess would could make it really far. We work together, we've got great leadership. Pitching carried us early and now our bats are starting to come to life."
After winning the state championship in 2013, Post 74 made it to the Southeast Regional, coming up two wins short of the Legion World Series.
"I remember when we lost last year down in North Carolina in the Southeast Regionals after we won the states, how disappointed we were because we didn't realize we could play with those types of teams and we could," Maynard said.
Almost half of those players are back again this summer, with the confidence that they can go even further.
"Me and the returning players are talking about it all the time," added Vidano. "It's something that we want to do. We know we're capable of doing it. Maybe some of the younger kids might not know exactly what they're getting themselves into. But we know we can get back there and win more."
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