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Sunset Ridge baseball team wins Division I championship


PHOENIX – The Sunset Ridge Hawks baseball team took home a big win on April 19 when they beat Hillcrest Middle School, making the Hawks the 2015-2016 DV7-8C Division I baseball champions.

Sunset Ridge Athletics Coordinator and boys baseball coach Cory Languell described the team as “ecstatic!” after their championship win.

“They were first excited that they won a great game, but more so that they did it together and as a team,” Languell said.

The Hawks baseball team is comprised of Sunset Ridge 7th and 8th graders, and the 8th graders all played together last season, as well.

“This season was special,” Languell said. “We finished the regular season with an 8-1 record and went 3-0 in the post season. These kids from the very beginning wanted to be great and leave a legacy here at Sunset Ridge. As their coach, I could see that they wanted to win and work for every bit of it.”

This year was Languell’s first as a Hawks coach; he’s been coaching middle school baseball for the past eight years at an Avondale school. Parent volunteer coach Eddie Rodriguez also put in many hours this season, helping the team reach its full potential.

Languell noted that he set a high bar for expectations of the team this season, and that the team worked hard every day to meet those goals.

“With their efforts on the field and in the classroom, they became better student athletes and better role models for Sunset Ridge,” he said. “The parents and community couldn’t have been more supportive of the coaching staff and the players all year long. With perseverance and hard work came success for this team, and I hope they carry that into every aspect of their lives going forward.”

The team members may end up going to different high schools and breaking up their set, but, if not, Languell says that, combined with all the other great teams in the area, “Boulder Creek would have a great core of talent that has potential to win for years to come.”

“I hope that they all will continue onto the same High School so they can continue their lifelong friendships and brotherhood on the baseball field,” Languell said. If they continue to work hard, I think I will see many of them in a college uniform using baseball to provide them with great education.”

No matter where their academic and athletic paths take the team, they can be proud of this season of teamwork and friendship.

“These boys are lifelong friends and to accomplish something with them is very special,” Languell said.  “Coach Rodriguez and I couldn't be prouder of each one of our players for everything they have accomplished this year, on and off the field.”