WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) - The High school baseball season is in its final weeks and district battles are coming down to the wire.
One of those teams fighting for a title is the Vernon Lions, who just swept Graham in a two-game series and they know how important that was.
“It was really big because it is going to set us up for a district championship and we love playing Iowa Park for the district championship because they are the big dogs and we are kind of the underdogs,” Vernon senior pitcher Tyler Reeves said.
“It was really important because we need to prove something to everybody because everybody was doubting us coming into the season,” Vernon senior right fielder Jace Smithson said.
The Vernon Lions weren't expected to be playing for a district title after losing eight seniors from their second place team.
But the Lions added several players from the district-winning JV team and a couple of seniors have stepped into big leadership roles, especially Tyler Reeves.
“We knew coming into this year we had confidence in our younger guys,” Vernon assistant coach Matt Buckmaster said. “I think we get great leadership from our seniors and especially Tyler Reeves, he does a good job for us.”
“It was kind of big step for me because last year we had nine seniors and just learning from them growing up," Reeves said. "They’ve been a part of my life ever since I was little and knowing I have had them to influence me, I just want to do the same for the younger guys here and build the Lions baseball program up and have a great year this year.”
And the Lions are having a breakout year.
They are 16-5 heading into the final four games, but are the self-named comeback kids after having to come from behind in a few games, including both against Graham.
“Probably the catalyst is never giving up," senior leader Reeves said. "We’ve been down a lot, going into the 6th and 7th inning and we just enjoy the game and find a way to comeback and win so it’s been a great year.
"We’ve called ourselves the comeback kids, that’s what we do around here.”
“Coming into this season we’ve been down pretty much every game," Smithson said. "But we continue to fight and we never gave up and just come from behind and win and there’s something special, that we don’t have any quit in us.”
The Vernon Lions will host Iowa Park for the first of two meetings Friday night at seven and it should be a good series as both teams have strong pitching carrying the teams.
If either team wins both matchups, they will be outright district champs in district 6-4A.