Take yourself back in time to the year 2003 and try to remember some of the notable events from the year. It’s kind of hard so I Googled it – here is what I was able to come up with:
- The space shuttle Columbia was launched for its last flight, burning up during re-entry
- The Iraq war began with an invasion of Iraq by American and allied forces
- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl
- The Florida Marlins won the World Series
- The IRCS Golden Eagle baseball team won their district title
There are no more shuttle missions. The troops have been withdrawn from Iraq. The Buccaneers have not been back to the Super Bowl. The Marlins have not even sniffed the World Series. BUT, the Golden Eagles baseball team has captured another district title. Twelve years is a long time to go between District titles but it has finally happened.
In one of the best high school baseball games ever, IRCS was able to capture the 3A District 9 championship last Friday night with a 3-2 victory over Calvary Christian High School. It took 9 innings to secure the win (HS games are normally 7) and each inning was exciting. The bottom of the 9th was the most riveting of all. In the ninth, Mike Dodaro singled up the middle to start the inning. After a Mike Barnard strikeout, Daniel Llerena bunted and reached first when Hoffman threw wildly. Caleb Johnson then laid down a sacrifice bunt that put runners on second and third. Dan Oberst was intentionally walked to load the bases. Two pitches later, George Koulianos sent a curling liner to right-centerfield. The ball dropped over both outfielders’ heads and pinch-runner John Turner came home with the winning run. George was also the winning pitcher. He took over the pitching duties with one out in the top of the 4th, he shut Calvary out the rest of the way.
One thing I greatly admire about this team is their unselfish team approach. In Saturday’s paper George’s performance was the headline for the section on high school baseball. I asked him about it at the Jr./Sr. Banquet and he talked about how awesome it was for the team to win. The same thing was true when I talked to Daniel L. and Mike D. I thought that humility in high school sports was a thing of the past but this team contradicts that. They are doing it the right way. I’m sure that is also part of the reason that they broke the school record for wins in a season this year. The Eagles now have a 22-5 record and on the last Tampa Bay Times ranking of all area teams they were 14th.
We would be remiss if we didn’t recognize the contribution that Adam Moravick and his coaching staff have added to this team. Adam has consistently led this team to a winning tradition over the past few years and this year was able to get over that hump of advancing out of the District into Regional play. Thank you for your patience and hard work with our boys.
By winning the District they earned the right to host the first Regional game. They will be playing Cardinal Mooney of Sarasota this Thursday, April 30 at 4:30 pm right here in the Eagle’s Nest. Come on out and support the home team. Admission will be $7 as mandated by the FHSAA. We hope to see you there!
If you absolutely cannot make it in person, you can watch it on IRCS Live!