Averill Park, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Section 2 has crowned 15 champions in the past 16 state baseball tournaments.
Three local teams will try to keep the run alive, and Averill Park has a coach with the experience to get it done. George Brooks knows a thing or two about raising a plaque.
The Averill Park baseball coach went back to back in 2014 and 2015, winning a pair of state titles with Hoosick Valley. This weekend he has a chance to deliver the Warriors their first.
“I’ve been fortunate to have some great players, just like I have this year with these guys and the biggest thing I told them from the very beginning is to take it all in,” Brooks said.
“Enjoy every moment, because as a high school player myself I never even got close to where these guys are now,” Brooks said.
“At the end of the day this isn’t the past teams, this is our team here and now and this is our chance to have a great time with it so he’s been huge,” senior catcher Stephen Koval said. “He’s been able to help us through it and keep us calm, keep us motivated.”
Averill Park entered the sectional playoffs just a five seed, but a Suburban Council slate meant these warriors were battle tested.
“Every day, every game is a battle,” Brooks said. “Having that experience throughout the course of the regular season is huge for us.”
“We’re a single A school and we’ve been playing AA teams all year,” junior second baseman Hunter Willett said. “We’ve been put in these positions to when it comes to a big game, we’re going to be there and we’re going to be in the game and we’re going to give it our best shot.”
A win saturday would make Averill Park the third straight class A state champion from Section 2.
“To add one more title to it would be amazing, especially, I’m a senior, this is my last year here, I want to leave with something even more special than we already have,” Koval said.
“They want to be on the top and they want to see up on that banner a state up there so anything we could get would be great,” Willett said.
The Warriors face Section IV’s Maine-Endwell Friday at 1 p.m. in the state semifinals.