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Hartselle rises to challenge

By By Todd Thompson, Hartselle Enquirer
The Hartselle players faced the media in a concourse level room at Riverwalk Stadium Thursday trying to define a championship, seeking for words to explain the joy that comes from a lifetime of hard work..
And then came the inevitable. Where were you when Hartselle last won a state championship?
Luke Bole, Zach Waddell, Chad Girodo and Garrett Turrentine looked at each other with silly smiles.
The fact is, these Tigers were just nine years old when Hartselle won its sixth state baseball crown in 2000.
They weren’t even born when Hartselle won its first state baseball championship in 1990.
Everything the 2009 Hartselle Tigers know about the school’s baseball tradition comes from years of history lessons from a calculus teacher who built the program into a powerhouse.
So, in 2000, when the current Tigers were just eight or nine years old, they talked about state championships.
They knew what was expected, they knew that the only goal was a championship ring.
The Tigers are brash, they’re confident. Heck, they’re even a cocky bunch. That’s the way championship teams are supposed to act.
This team knew in February they were meant to be in Montgomery playing for a state championship. They showed it last week when they overcame a first-game loss to sweep the series with back-to-back wins over Briarwood Christian.
Quite simply, this team is one of the best ever at Hartselle High School and that’s saying a lot.
Hartselle practices like champions, working out every morning during the season before school before hitting the field in the afternoon.
That effort paid off as the Tigers swept Briarwood Christian for state title No. 7. And a whole new group of future Tigers was in the stands watching. And waiting for their turn.
Sports editor Todd Thompson can be reached at 773-6566 or at