LYNN HAVEN, FL (WJHG/WECP) When it comes to high school baseball, the Mosley Dolphins are the only team from Tallahassee west still practicing this week, still working towards a possible state title.
Mosley coach Jon Hudson gives his Dolphins a scouting report on their 6A state semifinal opponent Dunedin Friday.
Coach Jon Hudson and his Dolphins winning their 6A region final on the road at Paxon Wednesday night, punching their ticket to the state finals in Fort Myers next week. They'll face Dunedin in the 6A state semifinals Friday.
Hudson gave his team the day off Thursday, and Friday they were back at it, with the coach giving his guys a pretty thorough scouting report on next week's semifinal opponent. He was able to do that because the coach went great lengths to see that team play in its region final against Mariner Thursday night. That story begins right after the win Wednesday in Jacksonville!
"Yeah we got in the bus after celebrating," coach Hudson told me "I hadn't even talked to my assistants. I said 'who do we play next game?' And they said 'they don't play until the next night." We're in the bus on the way home and I just told the bus driver to pull over and I got a hotel room right there in Jacksonville. Got up the next morning and called Enterprise (Rent A Car) and told them to come pick me up and so I rented a car, got a chance to go down to Tampa and watch Dunedin play down there. So it was good to get a chance to get my eyes on 'em."
So the team has that little extra knowledge thanks to their coach going the extra mile, or the extra 575 miles to be a little more exact!
The extra travel worth it to a coach who has seen his team work so hard, and overcome some pretty serious obstacles, especially back to October, in the wake of that epic hurricane which left many of their homes, their school, their field badly damaged. And now, with the hard work they put in, in so many ways, they're preparing for another trip to Fort Myers.
"Yeah I'll tell you, it's a long way from back in October when the hurricane hit." Hudson says "It's been a long road for us. They were just happy to get on the field early, so that was different. And then we come out in the beginning of the year and we're just killing the baseball, scoring ten, twelve, fourteen hits a game. That was unusual and different. And then we hit a little lull through the middle of the year and weren't swinging the bat very well. And weren't really playing great. But they working at it and kept working at what they needed to do offensively. And now we're swinging the bats better. And they just have a will to win, they have a lot of confidence and a will to win."
This will be Mosley's third trip to the state finals in the last four years, and 8th trip overall. The program's lone state championship came in 2002 under coach Doug Lee.
The team will leave Wednesday morning, the state semifinal against Dunedin is Friday at ten a.m. eastern.