The Denison Yellow Jackets baseball team has a big task in front of them, but the right attitude to give themselves a chance.
"We have a lot of fun together," Denison infielder Wilson Kirkbride said. "We want to win the ballgame for sure, and we're competing our butts off. But we're always having fun together."
The Denison Yellow Jacket baseball team is loose, cool and having the time of their lives.
"It's a lot better when everyone is having a lot of fun because when you have fun you play better," Denison pitcher Austin Emery said.
And that's exactly what the Yellow Jackets have done. Denison enters the third round for the first time since 1992; before any of the players on the team were born.
"I automatically think of all the great baseball players that I grew up watching," Kirkbride explained. You know the Luke Thomas', Caleb Thomas, you all those guys and many more. But it's just an honor. Those guys are just such great baseball players. To be able to have the team that gets this far, it's just an honor and a privilege."
"We're leaving our own legacy for teams to follow," Emery said. "It's like the stepping stones to show what it's like to be this far and hope that people behind us make it this far, too."
Denison faces Colleyville Heritage in a best-of-three series starting Thursday in Prosper. It's an opponent that has several Division One prospects, including Bobby Witt Jr., son of the former Texas Rangers pitcher. But the Jackets are just focused on their own game right now.
"They have a lot of good athletes, but we like to play to our competition level," Emery said. "Better team we play better. So that's what we're looking forward to do."
"We're playing a team that's ranked second in the state, but like I tell our guys, it's 0-0," Denison head coach Charles Bollinger said. "It starts from here on out. It's week-by-week. Let's see how far we can take this thing. Our guys are playing really well. We feel good, confident and that's what it takes."
"If we relax and have fun and our bats are going, we're hard to beat," Kirkbride said. "We got a lot of confidence in our pitching staff. So as long as we got our bats going, we'll be alright."