DESOTO — A group of young boys bearing the name Weatherford “Thunder” rolled into DeSoto, Texas on June 24-25 to take on Texas’ finest in the USSSA North Zone 10-AA State Tournament.

Saturday started the seeding pool play games. The Thunder faced off with the Southlake Mustang White Dragons and defeated them 6-4. The second game of the day, matched the Thunder up with the Texas Gators. These teams battled for the entire time limit as the game ended tied when time expired.

Sunday brought on the elimination games and the tournament was on. The first game brought the Waxahachie Braves. It was another time embattled game that ended with the score Thunder 13, Braves 11. The second game of the day, matched the Thunder with the Coppell Copperheads. These teams were no stranger to each other as they had met just weeks ago in a Super NIT tournament semi-final that the Thunder won by a narrow margin. The Thunder left no doubt this time, finishing off the Copperheads by a generous 17–2 game ended by the run rule.

The semi-final game brought the Aledo Cats to the table where they have made a habit out of weathering the Thunder storms, neither team leaving nothing on the field; this game … would be no different. The Cats took a five-run lead in the top of the first and the Thunder responded with four of their own. The Thunder chipped away in the mid-innings to take a small lead headed into the 6th. The Cats rallied and took the lead leaving the Thunder with that all too familiar feeling headed for the last at bat. But that’s what was different this time … the Thunder had the last at-bat! Having that opportunity for the first time, they wasted no time taking advantage of it, putting the runners on base and getting them home to win the game against the heavily favored and very talented Cats, 9-8.

The next game was the State Championship game for the boys from Weatherford. Eleven hours and three games under their belt already; the boys of Thunder caught a bit of a break as the other game was still being played and had to be decided in a tie break. This gave the boys a breather and an opportunity to hydrate and rest a bit.

The Championship game would pit the Nacogdoches Salty Dawgs against our Weatherford Thunder. The Salty Dawgs were a big and powerful team with a 11.4 average runs per game and 9–1 record. The Thunder took a five-run lead in the top of the first inning and never looked back. Out after out was recorded as the Dawgs found it very difficult to reach base, and when they did the defense was making plays to limit the damage. The defense played tremendously the entire tournament getting the outs when they needed them the most. The pitching was wonderful and our Weatherford Thunder stormed out of DeSoto as the USSSA 10-AA State Champions for 2006.

The Weatherford Thunder finished the season with 825 USSSA points ranking second overall of 40 teams. A USSSA power ranking of 1217 which places them fifth overall of 40 teams. An overall record of 23-9-1 having a 10-run average scored versus five-run average allowed.

Team members who played in the tournament were; No. 1 Collin Rector — Pitcher/Fielder, No. 2 William Banks — 2nd Base, No. 3 Tony Rodriguez — Short Stop, No. 5 Casey McCleery — 3rd Base, No. 4 Jacob Cortez — Fielder, No. 6 Connor Schloffman — Fielder/Catcher, No. 7 Aaron Richards — Fielder, No. 8 Alex Morris — Fielder, No. 9 Zach Hyles — 1st/Fielder, No. 10 Bryce Hargrave Pitcher/1st Base/Catcher, No. 00 Kyler McDonald — Pitcher/Catcher. Not present at tournament was Mitchell Dworsky — SS/Fielder. Leading the team is head coach is Carolina Busby, assistant coach Brent Hargrave and assistant coach Guard Rodriguez.

The team will be looking forward to defending that title next year. Always in need of sponsors, so please anyone interested in a sponsorship contact Brent Hargrave (817) 771-9304. Anyone interested in trying out for the 2007 team can also contact Brent.

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