Teammates on the Mount Si High School varsity baseball team will always remember the moment they won the state championship, listening to the cheers as they raised a shining trophy high.
Forever linked by that experience, the team went so far thanks to fundamentals, hard work—and a particularly close bond that dates back to their youth baseball days.
For the 2011 varsity, “team chemistry was second to none,” Coach Elliott Cribby said. “That has to be attributed to Little League.”
Skills are always important, but comradery was also a big part of state success. Players like Dustin Breshears and Tim Proudfoot, or brothers like Robb and Trevor Lane, brought connections that dated back to their earliest days in the game.
Little League is part of the Valley’s tight-knit baseball community, in which close friendships form. Those connections help players react as a group.
Cribby had a chance to meet players in the Falls Little League following the regular season. His visit got them stoked about growing as players and one day representing Mount Si.
“Obviously, winning creates a great buzz,” Cribby said. Now, his team can go out in the community and celebrate with young players.
“They really respect you,” Cribby said. “It’s great to see the fire in their eyes.”
Little Leaguers wanted to know what it was like to take the championship.
“I tell them it was an amazing feeling,” Cribby said. “It was like them winning the championship at their age.”
The head coach is staying in touch with players through social media this summer.
“They’ve meant a lot to me,” he said. “What we’ve done in nine months, it’s like I’ve known these kids my whole life.”
This summer, Cribby is coaching a 16-year-old team that includes three future varsity hopefuls: Connor Swift, Carson Breshears and Griffin McLain.
He hopes to put together a summer camp for younger players, and is expecting a huge turnout next spring.
“Winning a state championship creates a buzz,” Cribby said. “Everybody wants to play.”