Editor’s note: One in a series that highlights the best moments from athletics at Marshall High School.
It had been about two decades since Marshall’s baseball team was in the third round of the playoffs, but a win over Whitehouse, followed by a win over Highland Park, ended the drought for the Mavericks.
“Just sticking to the process and overcoming adversity, knowing that the plan was going to work, even though sometimes during the season it seemed like it was not working,” said Marshall baseball coach Derek Dunaway when asked what the keys were to Mavericks success. – These guys believed in the coaches. We believed in the players and we just tried to get better every day. At some point, you have to have something good happen, and it did against Mount Pleasant in the last game of the first round of the district. We came back and won with 3-2 count and two outs in the seventh round. If we do not win that match, we will not even have this conversation. That kind of made us go to the other half of the district. We got hot, believed in ourselves and each other and kept playing hard every game. We played a lot of teams that were probably more talented than us, but we only had the heart and the gate and a never give up attitude.
The Mavs were 7-4 behind at the bottom of the seventh round of the third and final game of the second round series against Highland Park before combining four straight races to win in a walk-off manner to advance to the third round.
“Probably the biggest moment I’ve ever been around coaching was the Highland Park game,” Dunaway added. “There was a crazy, calm feeling in the excavation that even though we were down by three, there was no doubt that we were going to come out and win, just because we had experienced it. I think going through the experience of winning and losing close matches definitely prepared us for that moment. ”
Dunaway said he hopes the momentum will continue into this school year, not just in baseball, but in all sports.
“There was a lot of excitement around the community and the school, among all the practitioners,” he said. “Everyone was excited. I hope it continues because we have children playing football and basketball, so hopefully it goes into these sports, but for us it will start this season. We went three rounds deep and we lost some players , but the expectation is to do what we did last year as far as working on the process, working the plan in the low season.
Marshall’s playoff run ended against Harrison County rival Hallsville.