WODEN, TX (KTRE) - The Woden Eagles planned to go to the state baseball tournament last season. The Groveton Indians had different plans.
Groveton was able to eliminate the Eagles 2-1 in the best of three series.
"It is probably the toughest loss I have ever had," catcher Lance Albritton said. "It was the last time I got to play with the seniors on the team. I had played all my life with those guys."
A year has passed and the memories of the game are still fresh with coach Brad Stevens.
"It was hard because you work so hard to get to that point," Stevens said. "You have a one game lead and lose it in one day is a bad day to have a bad day. I don't look back and think it should have been us. Groveton beat us. it is that simple. They earned that trip to the state tournament. This year is different though."
During the season the players were worried about winning district which they did in easy fashion. Now they take it one game at a time. On paper, Woden is the easy pick. So far this year the Eagles have beat the Indians twice in early season play. The next two games though are playoff games and anything can happen.
"I won't say we have an advantage,"Albritton said. "We thought that we had an advantage last year and you saw what happened, so i am not going to say if we have one or not. "
On any day, anything can happen on the diamond. Woden knows that all to well.
"You don't take anything for granted," Stevens said. "You keep playing until the last out is made and anything can happen in those 7 innings."
This time the matchup is two rounds earlier. The intensity will be the same. Woden hopes their season though does not end in Lufkin, the same place it did last year to Groveton.
"I wanted the same place, the same place," Stevens said. "Same location. Same color uniforms, everything just so we can have a second shot."
Game 1 of the series will be Thursday night at 6pm from Morris Frank Park in Lufkin. Games 2 and possibly 3 will be on Friday back at Morris Frank Park starting at 5 pm.