Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Charlotte Christian baseball rolling.....again

The Charlotte Christian baseball team is used to hanging banners. The Knights have not only won 12 of their last 13 (CISAA) conference titles, but also nine of the last 11 state NCISAA state championships on their way to one of the most dominant runs by any team in any sport in state history.

“We have a tradition amongst our players that is called ‘hang a banner’,” Charlotte Christian baseball coach Greg Simmons said, who is in his 20th season as the head coach of the Knights. “We only hang conference and state championships and Charlotte Observer banners (Sweet 16). All of our players take a lot of pride in seeing and earning the right to put those banners up, and coming years later to see them.”

This 2010 version of the Charlotte Christian baseball hopes to add another chapter to storied Knight tradition.

So far, this year’s Knights’ team (21-7, 9-1) is on track, accomplishing mission I, another CISAA conference title, and they hope this week is just the beginning of another state championship run.

After getting blown out in the Jack Sink tournament by Southwestern 4A powerhouses Ardrey Kell (13-2) and Providence (12-4), the Knights have righted the ship winning nine of their last 10 games. The Knights hope they are getting hot at the right time again, as they attempt to repeat as state champions and win their 8th title in the last nine seasons.

“I told our players, that the only things we need to focus on we’re first: winning a conference title, and then winning a state championship and nothing else matters,” Simmons said, who has won 427 games at Christian more than any other coach in any sport at the school. “They (the players, especially the 12 seniors) to write the last chapter of their senior season, and I think that is very special thing.”

Charlotte Christian (21-7, 9-1)

12 Charlotte Christian seniors go into what will be the final two weeks of their high school career with a chance to go out on top. Simmons says very little needs to be said because of the leadership his elder class has provided.

“The standard has been set so high for us, that I think every class (of seniors) feels a lot of pressure to live up to it,” Simmons said. “I think these guys (2010 seniors) have a great chance to win it all.”

Leading the way are four college-bound seniors in Ty Linton (North Carolina), Jake Watson (South Carolina), Trey Laney (Western Carolina) and John Kincaid (Appalachian State).

Linton has been the most effective hitters at .470 for the year, while Watson is hitting .450.

But while the Knights have been strong offensively, how well they can pitch will be the key to their postseason fate.

Senior Nick Agrawal (8-1) has had the most success on the mound, but after that things have been a little unpredictable after that.

If the Knights can get better pitching in the playoffs, it will be hard for any team to beat them.

Players

SS Jake Watson…South Carolina commit is another in long line of Christian greats.

OF Ty Linton…will play both baseball and football for North Carolina next season.

P Nick Agrawal…the Knights’ top pitcher committed to MacAllister College (MN) this week.



The Field

Since 1998, only two teams have won an NCISAA (3A) state championship other than Charlotte Christian. Wesleyan Christian won the title beat Christian in 2008, and Charlotte Latin beat Christian in 2001 en route to a state championship victory over Wesleyan.

So this season, there is no reason to expect anything to change and Christian goes into the playoffs as the favorite. The Knights, who won six straight titles from 2002 to 2007, are trying to repeat as state champions this year to start another big run.

Once again, there biggest competition will likely come from Wesleyan, who has one major advantage as the host of the (3A) state championship series, if they can get there.

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“Decade of Dominance”

Charlotte Christian Baseball’s Run

2010 – 21-7, 9-1 currently

2009 – State Champions (Beat Wesleyan Christian)

2008 – State Runner-Up** (Lost to Wesleyan Christian)

2007 – State Champions (beat Forsyth Country Day)

2006 – State Champions (beat Charlotte Country Day)

2005 – State Champions (beat Charlotte Country Day)

2004 - State Champions (beat Wesleyan Christian)

2003 – State Champions (beat Wesleyan Christian)

2002 – State Champions (beat Wesleyan Christian)

2001 – Lost in State Semifinals to Charlotte Latin***

2000 – State Champions (beat Wesleyan Christian)

**State Runner-up

***Only year they didn’t play in state championship

****Also won state titles in 1999

-- Special Correspondent Jay Edwards

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

en route, not in route

Anonymous said...

Congratulations CCS. A class team with a class coach and staff. Playing the game the right way can only help later in life. My two boys have enjoyed the ride under Coach Simmons. Even during the rare loss, the team was always winning in life.

buy generic viagra said...

The Knights is well prepared team, Im very amaze on how good they are, the last season was almost perfect.