Mansfield Sports

Wolves out, but made history

Timberview’s baseball season ended sooner than the Wolves would have preferred, but later than many people predicted. Corsicana swept Timberview from the postseason over the weekend in their 5A Region II area round series with 9-4 and 9-2 victories, but a new standard was set for the program.

This squad won the school’s first-ever postseason series in baseball with a sweep of Dallas Adamson in the bi-district round. Corsicana, though, proved too much to handle.

“You can’t do anything to hurt yourself when you’re playing them,” Timberview coach Bobby Johnson said. “We had an inning where we threw the ball around a little bit and just didn’t make routine plays and it hurt us. That happened in both games, unfortunately.”

Players knew they had a challenge on their hands, but also feel they failed to be at their best when they needed it most.

“We definitely made it easy for them,” sophomore Zeke Kuyawa said. “We knew it was going to be tough, but at the end of the day we really just handed them the series.”

“We knew we wanted to make the playoffs,” Johnson added. “I don’t think too many people gave us the opportunity to do it. But the kids fought to do it. Once we were in the playoffs, we believed we could hit with anybody and would just come down to would our defense hold up and continue to make the routine plays we were making. Ultimately, we ran into a bit of trouble and Corsicana took advantage of it.”

New attitude, new era

The playoff shirts the team had made stated: “New attitude. New era.” And with a new bar set for expectations, the success is already having an impact on the younger players.

“We’re already talking about things we’re going to change to improve even more to be successful,” Kuyawa said. “We’re really trying to change things around. Not only make it back to where we got, but improve on the season we had.”

Johnson will have five starters back for 2016, and hopes this year’s success extends beyond just baseball season.

“We’ve talked about continuing the work ethic,” he said. “And more so, continuing to raise the expectations of themselves. Not only in season, but in the offseason.”

Defining moment

Sometimes you can pinpoint an exact moment that defines a season. For the Wolves, most agree it was in a district game against Arlington Seguin in mid-March. Trailing 7-1, Timberview staged an unlikely rally and won the game 12-10 in extra innings.

“In years past, Timberview teams would have shut down,” Johnson said. “These kids just kept fighting. Next you know, it’s tied and we went on to win it. That mentality just stuck with them. It made them believe they could do some good things. It was a huge turning point for us and for this program.”

“That really set the tone for the season and what we were really going to be about, and that we were never going to give up and we were going to keep fighting,” Kuyawa added.

Looking back

For eight seniors, it marks the end of their careers as Wolves, and it’s probably easier for them to take pride in it after reaching a milestone for the program. Micah Walker only spent one year with the team, having transferred in prior to this year, but recognizes the importance of this season.

“The season as a whole was great,” he said. “We set a new standard for Timberview baseball and future teams will look to that standard. Hopefully, they’ll pass it and go beyond what we accomplished. I’m just glad I was part of the team that made history at Timberview.”