Viking baseball team perfect through district

The baseball team advanced to post season play after going undefeated in district competition, outscoring their opponents 124-13.

Sophomore Rylan Hill struck out the final batter of the game to secure a perfect season for the Vikes.

“It was pretty special to be in that position with everyone,” Rylan said. “It meant a lot to seal it up with that final out and I was overwhelmed with joy.”

Despite only being a sophomore, Rylan has stepped into the role of a leader that will help prepare him for next year when the team opens play in a new district.

“I felt like it was a pretty big role as a younger player on the team,” Rylan said. “Moving forward, I know it is going to be my job to lead the team to get better every day.”

Many seniors on the team, including senior outfielder Hunter Harlin, saw this season as special since they lost a season because of COVID and they wanted to capitalize on the talent they had this year.

“It was a great way to end my high school career,” Hunter said. “I enjoyed getting to do it with some of my best friends and experience a perfect season through district.”

The sport of baseball is well-known for its traditions and superstitions and the Viking boys adopted several new traditions, this season including the red topped, bear-shaped animal cracker container.

“I have to have the same color wrist tape on the same wrists depending on the jersey we wear,” Hunter said. “As for the animal crackers, after the team had them the first time, we had them every time after that because it became good luck and something we could all do together.”

Senior outfielder Ben Bartosh appreciates the team prayer they have before each game to help get their heads right for the game and believes the animal crackers gave the team something else to bond over.

“We all enjoyed the animal crackers and had snacks throughout the game,” Ben said. “Being able to do something a little more laid back was fun. The animal crackers were just a part of this season that I will remember. We worked really hard to get to where we are and it was all like a dream come true.”

Rylan also believes that the animal crackers helped the team relax during the final stretch of district play. 

“I feel like everyone gets so wrapped up in the seriousness of baseball,” Rylan said. “The animal crackers allowed us to laugh and be something different.”