Four years in the making

By Ryan Peterson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -  Lufkin Head Baseball Coach Clay Berry really wants to redecorating at Morris Frank Park.

"The first day that we started talking to them (four years ago)," said Berry.  "We said guys 'there's a beautiful sign out there that says state championship 1963 and we'd like to change that.'"

Planting seeds of confidence, Berry has watched a talented group of freshman, grow into a winning group of seniors.

"As a freshman class I knew we had something special," said Berry.  "We had kids that can pitch, kids with power and speed. So we had all the essentials ready to make a championship run."

"It's been crazy," said Lufkin Senior Outfielder Colby Keeling.  "We always expected we could get this far, but we didn't know for sure. It was an iffy feeling, but each playoff win gets us that much closer and becoming more of a dream come true."

The Panthers aren't ready wake up from this dream playoff run.  A dream that started as kids.

"Since elementary school we've always been hanging out and bonding and going to World Series and stuff," said Lufkin Senior Outfielder Tim Tang.  "This here is a special group and we always stay together. Our parents made sure we stayed together because they knew something was special."

All of the time together has paid off on the field.

"I guess it's just because we have played well with each other all through little league," Said Lufkin Senior Infielder Corey Lyles.  "We know each other, we know what ticks each other, help each other out. We get along real well with each other."

Berry believes in his team, because they believe in one another.

"We've got a close knit group of kids who love each other and love watching each other be successful," said Berry.

The love of the game and the love for the guy next to you.  That could be a championship formula.  Berry hopes so.

"This group thinks they have a chance to go all the way and put another sign on the board and it would be great for the fans here in Lufkin,"