VIDEO: Washburn Out To Snap Decades-Long City School State Baseball Title Drought
Minneapolis Washburn already has become the first City school to make the State Baseball Tournament in eighteen years. Now, they’re out to snap a 43-year Championship drought.
It would mean so much to our team, the school, even the city,” says senior Jonah Kaplan. “All the other schools, I know they're pulling for us, we'd be doing the same for them. It'd mean a lot.”
Washburn’s players saw firsthand how exciting a Championship game can be, watching the school’s basketball team play one of the most thrilling state title games ever back in March.
“The atmosphere of it - all the fans cheering, how insanely crazy and awesome it was to just be in the crowd,” says Washburn ace pitcher Josh Pierce. “(I was) thinking how cool it must be to be on that court playing in front of everyone. It made me think - if we could do this... It would just be the best.”
Should they get there and win, it would restore a winning tradition that saw the Millers win five state titles in 16 years back in the 1950’s and 60’s. In that era, Washburn was -the- powerhouse in Minnesota high school baseball.
“I know there's a time in the 50's when Washburn was really dominant,” Kaplan says. “It'd be great to get the program back to that, and this is a year when we really have a chance to do that.”
I've seen the banner in the gym that shows when teams have gone to state at Washburn,” Pierce acknowledges. “Baseball was there a lot in those years, and it's kind of amazing to see that they're there - and then also how long it's been since Washburn's been to state.”
“It would be incredible,” says senior Sam Renikoff. “It would be a great way to carry on the old Washburn tradition that we haven't had for a while here, especially in the baseball program, so it'd be pretty cool to be a part of that.”
“It'd be great to rejuvenate everything that we've had in the past and bring it to life again,” says senior Andy Manos.
Having made it to state is one thing, but head coach Jim Clancy says the primary goal lies ahead.
“We knew we could be here, and we are,“Clancy says. “We accomplished this goal so let's go onto the next goal which is being successful in St Cloud... and we have a shot at it.”
Washburn opens the State Baseball Tournament against Proctor on Thursday in St. Cloud.