MARIANNA, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Chipola baseball team is back home in Marianna, returning to campus Monday with back to back national championship trophies.
Coach Johnson and his squad flew back from Denver to Atlanta in the morning, and after an unexpected delay of about three hours, were able to hop a bus and drive home by 5 o'clock Monday evening.
Despite losing their opener at the Juco World Series in Grand Junction, the Indians won six straight elimination games and claim the championship, becoming just the fourth team in Juco World Series history to lose their opener and come back to win it all.
The team greeted returned via bus to an assembly of dozens of fans, boosters, family and friends, with Coach Johnson speaking to the crowd about how tough this team turned out to be.
"I can't say enough about them [the players]," Johnson said after the celebration at the field. "I kind of got on them about some things, not being prepared, like when we were getting ready to play the game and not doing things right before the game. But when we got on the field, this group came together and grinded it out the whole time. And like I said, very resilient. There were times when we could have quit or gotten beat, but these guys bounced back off the floor and won the game."
"It wasn't as easy as it was last year," sophomore Max Guzman said. "We worked really hard to where we won today and it was all because of Coach J. He came out every day. We all practiced hard every day. He got on us, but it was for the best because if not ,we would have never won it."
Coach Johnson said he will enjoy this third national title, but was already back to work recruiting by phone and got commitments from a couple of prospects on the bus ride back from Atlanta.