Chipley and Bozeman set for 1A playoff showdown
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Tuesday marks round two of the high school baseball state playoffs. And among the interesting match ups, Chipley’s game at Bozeman in the 1A Regional Finals. Chipley heads south at 24-1, the Bucks will host with a 24-4 record. The latter advancing past round one with a 17-2, five inning win over visiting Malone this past Friday night. The Bucks looking to make it to the state semifinals for the 5th time in the last six years. That excludes the 2020 season, which was cut short by the pandemic. Nobody made it to the playoffs. So even though Bozeman’s a perennial postseason player so to speak, not many of the players on this year’s squad have experience with long playoff runs!
“I guess they’re leaning a little more on me.” Bozeman head coach Jeff Patton told me as part of a zoom call with Chipley’s coach Andy Compton midday Monday. “In all honesty Jeremy Todd’s really the only one, because last year we didn’t get to play. You know we were of to a good start but uh, so yeah, Jeremy Todd when he was a freshman (was part of a playoff run) and I think Brody (Langlotz) was called up and Anthony Street was part of it too. But they weren’t necessarily on the field in 2019. But they did at least get a chance to see it. The goals are the same. We’re going to do the best we can to try to treat it just like a baseball game and try to compete as hard as we can against a really good team.”
That’s right, a very good Chipley team that comes south off the 10-0 win over Franklin and with a 24-1 record. The team’s only loss coming in early March against Sneads, before and after nothing but W’s. Like Bozeman, Chipley felt it had a playoff team last season, but that hope was denied through no fault of their own. The success this season, coach Compton believes, sprung from a decision made last June in the midst of the pandemic!
“When we got shut down last year it was a bolt to everybody.” coach Compton said. “And I think our school district, one thing they did, when Memorial Day ended last year, they turned us loose and we could start doing stuff in groups. And we did, we started playing games June 15th. And got to play in the summer, where some school districts weren’t allowed to do that. And I think it kind of, you know we played all the way to almost school started. So I think part of it kind of lit the fire back.”
And that fire is still burning. And it’s caught within the school and the community as well, says coach Compton.
“I mean everybody’s excited. You know our schedule kind of set up well for us. And we won a bunch of games. You know as it rolled along everybody got excited. You know we’re just trying to stay on an even keel and knowing the next game’s the most important one. That’s just the way we’ve always taken it. Just like coach said it’s gonna be a, he’s gonna make some money. I think it will be fun!”
The game Tuesday at Bozeman set for 7:00
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