Warriors aim for district title

Published 9:17 pm Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pitcher Zach Rice prepares to send a pitch to a Western Branch batter during Friday’s home game. The Warriors are in good position to win the school’s first Southeastern District Championship.

By Tray Mason
Correspondent

After their biggest win of the season Friday against Western Branch, Nansemond River’s baseball team is in uncharted territory.

The Warriors have a clear shot at winning the school’s first Southeastern District Championship. All they have to do is win their final two games.

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The first of the two is a game on the road against Oscar Smith. It’s a contest the Warriors should handle easily, as they defeated the Tigers 9-3 earlier this season.

On Friday, they travel to take on Great Bridge in a situation that is all too familiar to both teams.

Last season, Nansemond River played the Wildcats four times, twice in the regular season and two more times in the postseason.

The Warriors defeated Great Bridge in the SED Tournament Final to win their first title.

But the Wildcats got revenge when the two teams met again in the Eastern Region Tournament final, a game the Wildcats won handily.

The rest is history. Great Bridge went on to win the AAA State Championship, and Nansemond River lost in the first round of the state tournament.

Nine players returned this year from that Nansemond River team, and they had an entire offseason to think about this season and set bigger goals.

One of those goals was to beat Western Branch. Another was to win the district. The Warriors are just two wins away from accomplishing both goals.

As exciting and Hollywood-ready as it might be for the Warriors to play Great Bridge with the district title on the line, the team isn’t willing to overlook Oscar Smith.

“Before we think about Great Bridge, we’ve got to get past Oscar Smith,” Nansemond River head coach Mark Stuffell said. “Hopefully we can get past Oscar Smith and then worry about Great Bridge.”

So the roles are set and the cameras will be rolling on Tuesday and Friday for the Warriors’ biggest games of this season.

“The Great Bridge game is about to be crazy, its going to be huge,” senior Kyle Moore said. “We’ve got to win out to secure our spot in the district.”

The Warriors are in an ideal situation, as they control their own fate. Next week, they will attempt to make history.