Holmes and Chipley set for 1A State Semifinal match up
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -For neighbors who live relatively close to each other, well the Blue Devils and Tigers have traveled a long way to meet each other in the 1A State Semifinal round. Those two baseball teams will go at it in Fort Myers Wednesday. This will be the third time they’ve played each other this season, with the Tigers winning the first two meetings, a 8-7 win in February, and a 6-4 win in March.
Holmes going south with a 20-8 record, that includes playoff wins over Jay and Northview. Chipley making it to State with a 25-1 record that includes playoff wins over Franklin and Bozeman.
Tuesday I spoke with both head coaches this about making it to the state finals!
“It’s a humbling experience, getting all the phone calls, text messages.” says Jeromy Powell, a Holmes alum and the Devils head coach, who is making his first trip to the finals. “And just running into a lot of people that you hadn’t talked to in a long time. I’ve got a friend of mine sitting right here with me, that flew down from Atlanta, Georgia to be here. So yeah it’s a special time for sure.”
“You know it’s just a blessing.” says Chipley head coach Andy Compton, who led this program to the finals back in 2014. “You do all you can to try to get to this point. You know our players, you know they’re just kind of, like coach Powell said, they’re excited and humbled and lucky to be here, you know with what we went through last year.”
Both coaches say they’re been getting great support from their schools and communities all season long, and expect the same come Wednesday, despite the nearly 8 hour drive to Fort Myers.
“The support, I guess we’re getting enough that they had to shut the schools down at home.” coach Powell said. “So I think there is a lot of the faculty coming down here, and a lot of the students, to the level of that they weren’t going to be able to operate school. It’s one of them deals where I’ve kept telling the kids that we’re not even supposed to be here. Do you know what I’m saying? So I mean we have nothing to lose. You know what I mean? And I think we are the underdog coming into this thing. And you know anything can happen when we get here.”
“It’s just going to be fun.” added coach Compton. “You know our school, I don’t think they actually turned our school out, I think they let anybody that wanted to come come. Without any penalty. And football’s trying to wrap up spring so that they can get down here. You know I expect a good crowd for both bunches. I don’t know if anything like this has ever happened down here, you know with two teams as close as we are in the panhandle..”
Yeah these two schools less than ten miles apart. Their game Wednesday set for 4 o’clock eastern time. Both teams still gunning for that first baseball state championship., Julia Daniels is in Fort Myers and will have all the highlights and post game reaction for us Wednesday night.
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