Just how good was this 2014 championship team?

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By Steve Jarboe

One only has to be a fan of any sport, and you will hear the same old stories and predictions from many coaches and sportscasters regardless of the sport.

There are those who say defense wins football championships, and free throw shooting wins and loses most basketball games. And some say defense and others say it’s pitching that wins baseball championships.

Well, let’s take a look at this 2014 Williston Red Devil Baseball 1A State Championship team to see just how good they were.

In my opinion, they were the best high school baseball team in the state of Florida this season bar none. They had pitching and they had defense.

First of all, this Red Devil team defeated 4A Trinity Catholic twice during the regular season, only to see Trinity win the Class 4A State Championship just two days before the Red Devils took home their 1A State Championship.

True, it was a long 91-year wait, but as the old saying goes, “good things come to those who wait.”

Just how did these 2014 Red Devils get to Fort Myers, and what did they do when they got there?

It all began with the District Playoffs,. They simply dominated the Chiefland Indians 9-0. Then they shut out a very hot Union County Tiger team 3-0 for the District Championship.

Are you keeping count yet? That’s 12-0.

Then came the Regional Semi-final where they played the Wildwood Wildcats. This was a game that every Red Devil player on the roster saw action, even though it was a five inning mercy rule win by the Red Devils, 15-0.

Are you still keeping count? That’s 27-0.

Then the Red Devils faced Taylor County in the Regional Championship Game. The Red Devils took the Regional Championship with a 4-1 win and the right to advance to Fort Myers to the Final Four

Are you still keeping up with this? That’s 31-1 in four Playoff games.

The Red Devils were matched against the Paxton Bobcats in the State Semi-Final game. A game the Red Devils won 4-0, earning the right to play for the 1A State Championship. Sophomore pitcher Austin Langworthy pitched a 2- hit shutout game for the Red Devils..

If you have not lost count yet, that’s 35-1.

The Chipley Tigers earned their way to the State Championship game by defeating Lafayette in a five inning mercy rule game 11-2 earlier in the day on Monday, May 19.

When the dust cleared Tuesday night, May 20, the Red Devils, behind a total team effort, and a big right handed pitcher named Trent Johnson, brought home the State Championship to the Williston community. Johnson also tossed a 2-hit shutout game as the Red Devils won 4-0.

The final run total for the Red Devil playoff run 39-1.

That, my friends, is a dominating playoff run, by a dominating team. The best in all of Florida.

And if you think this is a one time run by these Red Devils, you need to think again. There were several freshmen playing on this team, along with a sophomore pitcher named Austin Langworthy, who went 8-0 for the season, without giving up a single run all season.

Whatever the reasons are behind this 2014 Red Devil team’s success, just stay tuned to next season.

I will once again, without any hesitation, repeat with the facts and the stats on my side, the 2014 1A State Champion Williston Red Devils, were the best high school team in the state of Florida this season.

You be the judge, as to what wins championships in baseball.

But one word will go down in history with this team, “Dominating.”