Panther Baseball State Champions honored on 50th anniversary - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Panther Baseball State Champions honored on 50th anniversary

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LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

The crowd went wild as champions from 50 years ago emerged on the Lufkin Panther baseball field.

Friday night's varsity game against college park also marked the landmark anniversary of the only Lufkin baseball team to win a state title.

"50 years later they still remember you they still bring these old codgers out here on the field that what it means because they still remember," said Mike Mayberry, 1st basemen 1963 Championship team.

16 members of the championship team were honored at the game, first baseman Mike Mayberry says it was great getting the team back together, like no time had passed at all.

"Most of us don't remember the game, every game was exciting, we played from little league all the way through," said Mayberry.

Before the game the men met with the current team and gave a few last minute tips.

Head Coach Clay Berry says the championship team is an example for current players striving to reach the same goal.

They love seeing these older guys come back and tell their stories and the things, the experiences they had during the state tournament and participating in it," said Berry.

Mayberry says before the game the team visited the field where they used to play and says the sounds and smells are just how he remembers.

 But even though much has changed, Mayberry believes it still takes determination to become the best.

"There was a lot less distractions for young people now there so much to do but if you're a baseball player you've got to be dedicated," said Mayberry.

The 1963 championship team presented current panthers with a signed baseball for good luck.

While the team is off to a rough start in district they're hoping to turn it around and follow in the footsteps of champions.

The game ended around 8:15 with college park defeating the panthers 10 to 0.

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