The Westwood Wildcats have been in this situation before- a GISA-A State baseball title on the line facing a familiar opponent.
In 2011, Westwood was swept in the state finals by Crisp Academy. For 2012, Westwood hopes to make up for those past mistakes as they'll get a second shot at the Wildcats. This time, the Camilla-version of the Wildcats will host the state championship series starting Friday at 1 PM.
The region rivals have faced each other twice this season with each team winning once. However, Crisp Academy holds the ultimate upper hand with that 2011 state trophy. A sight that isn't lost on the Westwood players.
"Seeing them get to celebrate...we wanted to be that team. So we're going to work hard to be that team that gets to celebrate at the end of our game," senior catcher Mason Worsham said.
A Westwood celebration this weekend starts with the starting pitching. Pitchers Douglas Nobles and Caleb Morrell have picked up 17 of the 19 Wildcat victories this year. The seniors will have to carry the load for Westwood to win it's first state baseball championship since 1988.
Wildcats Head Coach Al Timmerman says he's proud that the championship is staying in South Georgia either way. However, Timmerman added that he hoped the 2012 trophy will make an extended stay in Camilla.
"I think deep down inside there's a little bit of "get after it". Because of the other side and the other dugout is going to be another group of Wildcats who are going to be just as hungry as we are," Timmerman said.
Westwood took batting practice against left-handed pitchers on Wednesday in preparation for Crisp Academy ace James Bodrey. The Wildcats have faced two pitchers this season from the left side of the mound.
Due to Westwood's graduation, game two of the series opens Saturday at 1 PM with the "if necessary" game to follow.