CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Ask baseball fanatics in the Coastal Bend, they will probably all tell you the same thing: Veterans Memorial was on a path to win a state title last season. The chance never happened. COVID-19 canceled springs sports.
"It was a hard thing to go through losing our season," junior Nicholas Reyes said. "We knew, everyone on the team knew that was our year, we were going to go all the way."
The thought, the agony still lingers.
"I'm not going to lie and say I don't think about it," head coach Lee Yeager said. "But you know at this point we have to put it behind us."
And that is what the program has done. They had their time to dwell on the past and think about what could have been. Now, that what if scenario has become the fuel for the 2021 baseball season.
"Coach Yeager told us from day one we have to keep the same formula we did last year and just listen to what he has to say," said senior Jake Rabe.
The Eagles will start the 2021 baseball season as the number two team in 5A. That's not really a surprise, in fact it has become somewhat of a tradition for the Eagles under Yeager.
The preseason ranking is nice, but it's irrelevant. Yeager cares about the ranking when the season ends. He wants a number one by his team's name.
"It really doesn't mean a lot you know," added Yeager. "The only one we're worried about is that one in June."
That's the expectation for this team from within this season: finish on top, something that was ripped away last year.
"I think we win a state championship," said Rabe.
Veterans Memorial's season will start with scrimmages on Feb 10 and their first official game will be against King on Feb 23.