The Airline Vikings and Haughton Bucs both lost in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs last week, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that both had very successful seasons.
The District 1-5A champ Vikings fell to district rival Byrd 8-6, and Haughton lost to Live Oak 10-3.
Airline finished 24-11 overall and 13-2 in District 1-5A. They won the district title by three games over Captain Shreve. It was Airline’s second straight title, but last year they had to share it with Shreve.
“It was a great year; it really was,” Airline coach Toby Todd said. “Those kids won 24 games. We played a very tough schedule if you look at the number of teams we played that were very high up in the power rankings and are still in the playoffs. Overall, it was a big success of a season.”
The Byrd game was the final one for six senior starters — starting pitcher Andrew Lowe and reliever Andrew Maxey, first baseman Jacob James, second baseman Ryan Phillips, shortstop Tanner Daniel and designated hitter Peyton Coker.
Haughton finished 19-13 and tied for third with Byrd at 9-6.
The Live Oak game was the final one for four Haughton seniors — utility player Trey Morris, shortstop Sam Wallace, catcher Seth Ryan and right fielder Seth Bradshaw.
Haughton had six more wins overall than in 2014 and four more in 1-5A.
“I was real pleased,” Haughton coach Glenn Maynor said. “Compared to last year I think we took a step forward. This is our fourth year in 5A and it’s a world of difference.
“I thought our seniors did an awesome job of being leaders. I told them that in several years we can look back and say this was the year we turned it around.”
Russell Hedges, email@example.com