Atascocita baseball quickly rises to prominence

April 24, 2008 6:43:14 PM PDT
The high school baseball playoffs begin next week and there's a new power team in town.Atascocita High School has only been around two years, but the Eagles are already flyin' high.

Eagles baseball coach Eric Matthews would seem to have worked a minor miracle. It's only Year 2 of the program, but Atascocita is already ranked No. 2 in the state.

"In the grand scheme of things, you know, the only one that can't be, that's not controversial, is going to be that one at the end of the season," Matthews said.

As impressive as the Eagles have been, there is a good explanation of how a group of kids have turned into such a good team so quickly.

"They came from Humble, which has a great program. Coach (David) Sitton has done a great job with these kids," Matthews added.

"We've all played together since we were little kids," Eagles shortstop Thomas Dougherty said. "on little tournament teams and stuff like that. We've been together since we were 4 or 5 years old, so the chemistry's real well."

Right now, the Eagles are 26-3 with one regular-season game to go. They had won 24 straight before falling to Baytown Sterling earlier this week.

"Idon't ever think that losing's a good thing, you know," pitcher Clay Schrader said, "but we were on a 24-game winning streak and we hadn't really felt what losing was like in a long time. We felt that, and now we're just ready, you know."

But as the playoffs approach, the players say they really didn't need a loss to wake them up, they just remember what happened in the playoffs last year.

"We actually only did 10 innings in the playoffs, (losing by) 10-run rule both games, and it's not gonna happen this year," Schrader said.

"We only played 10 innings and got whupped. So we got a bad taste in our mouths, and we want more," Dougherty said.

And this year, they're ready.

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