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September 25, 2013

Foley baseball team gets championship rings from 2013 state title

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
TOP AND ABOVE: Guys on the Foley baseball team show off their 2013 state championship rings. The Ventures were the first MHSAA baseball team to win three straight state titles, which they did in June.
 

MADISON HEIGHTS — While the boys of fall worked on pushing their record to 3-0, the boys of spring were officially awarded for a three-peat of their own.

On Sept. 13, during the Madison Heights Bishop Foley football team’s victory against Harper Woods High, the 2013 baseball team came together as one for the final time, enjoying a halftime celebration honoring the Division 3 state champions, complete with championship rings and all.

“It was real nice, a pretty cool night,” coach Buster Sunde said. “I know I appreciated it, and all the boys did, too.”

The rings were each blessed during the ceremony, after which every player was announced, and the team was acknowledged for being the first in MHSAA history to win three consecutive baseball state titles.

“We’re getting used to this,” Sunde joked about the ceremony, which has taken place during football games three times now. “We like it more and more each year. … The cool thing is for these guys to get recognized again for what they accomplished. It shows what can happen with a lot of hard work.”

There was plenty to celebrate in terms of the 2013 group.

Foley finished the spring season with a 35-2-1 final record, won another Catholic League championship and capped the season with a 12-5 victory over Grandville Calvin Christian in Battle Creek on June 15.

“It was awesome, such a great experience to be recognized like this,” senior Brad Baldwin said of the ring ceremony. “To be in front of the whole school, a lot of people who’ve been there for us all along, it was pretty sweet.”

Sunde said the players each purchased their own ring, but, as a team, also had complete control over the design.

“They did a great job again this year,” he said. “They look real professional.”

Practice makes perfect — which is why many figure this won’t be the last time the guys are honored like this.

“Trying to compete for a state title requires so much work and dedication,” Baldwin said.

The 2014 team will return all but two players.

“I think our success is due to the work we put in during the offseason and the real season. We don’t want anything given to us, and I feel like, if we do what we’ve been doing, who knows what will happen? But it’s a great group. You can’t ask for a better chance than the one we’ll have with these guys.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.