Aledo catcher Zayne Willems darted around with his shin guards still on and a gold medal around his neck, bouncing from an interview with a reporter to a picture with his teammates to another interview.
Then he declared the curse lifted.
“You always grow up thinking about winning a state title,” Willems said after Friday’s UIL championship game.
“Actually doing it, and breaking the curse for Aledo with a bunch of your friends you grew up with feels great.”
Never miss a local story.
Still, it would be hard to associate a spell of bad luck with Aledo athletics, even if the Bearcats’ 4-0 win over Victoria East on Friday was their first baseball title.
In the 2013-14 school year Aledo produced three team state titles, two individual state champions and sent eight teams to the postseason.
Aledo is the first UIL school to win same-year state titles in football, softball and baseball, and the first Class 4A school to win same-year titles in softball and baseball, UIL officials said.
Cheyenne Knight was the girls golf state champion, as the team finished fourth. Carl Williams won the state high jump championship.
And on Friday, 10 baseball players made room for their second state ring of the year, adding it to the football title.
Senior Taco Anderson, a receiver on the football team, pitched a shutout to earn the victory and game MVP honors Friday.
“Winning a baseball title just topped it off,” Anderson said of his senior year. “I still haven’t grasped what’s happened. I’m just in shock.”
Luke Glover, a tight end on the football team and a shortstop on the baseball team, said winning state in football is the standard.
Winning one in baseball was surreal.
“I would’ve never guessed this would happen,” Glover said. “Football, it’s kind of expected, but baseball, I would’ve never thought [a baseball title] could happen.”
Earlier in the week, football coach and school athletic director Tim Buchanan looked back on the 2014 senior class, which includes his son, Caleb, an offensive lineman on the football team.
“I don’t know if I’m trying not to pay any attention to it, but I haven’t really thought about that all these kids are going to be gone, not to mention my son Caleb,” Buchanan said. “It’s going to be different.”