Relationships the best part of Greenwood's run

Children ask for autographs from Greenwood players before the start of Thursday’s Class A state championship game. The Wildcats lost 2-1.

In the coming weeks the PIAA Class A runner-up trophy will find its way to the trophy case at Greenwood High School.

The silver medals that were placed around the necks of the coaches, players and staff as rain began to fall onto Medlar Field on Thursday will end up in offices, bedrooms or a drawer.

Newspaper clippings of the 2019 baseball season will be tucked away in a book or a folder.

One thing that will stay with all of those associated with the 2019 edition of the Greenwood baseball team are the memories of the run that ended with a loss in the state championship game.

“I told them after the game that it won’t be our successes or the championships we won,” said Greenwood coach Mark Sherman. “Trophies and medals are material things and they can be replaced or even forgotten. But it will all be about the relationships they had made and the bonds they forged in this family we created.

“I am just so proud of the guys.”

Sherman is just not proud of the way his team played but what they became off the field.

“This group, early on, bonded and it was great to see,” he said. “They became a family and they did everything for each other.”

It is also the reason — other than the loss — that there were tears being shed onto the grass at Medlar Field.

“Out of all my sports I played this year this was the most upsetting to end,” said senior pitcher Luke Myers. “It’s not because we didn’t get the championship. It’s because it is ending and the family will be gone.

“There is nothing like this team.”

It just wasn’t the team that felt the loss Thursday as more than 300 Greenwood fans packed the first base side of the stadium in a sea of blue and gold.

“The community support we have gotten has been amazing,” said Sherman. “We are a small town and they thrive off of moments like this.

“Win or lose, we are champions in the eyes of our community, and that is all that matters.”

This edition of the Wildcats — who not only played in first state title game in program history, but won the first state playoff game — has left a legacy for those to follow, including the bunch of younger kids that were all around the dugout before the game asking for autographs from their favorite Greenwood baseball player.

“These guys have set the bar pretty high,” said Sherman. “It has been a honor to be with these guys and to be their coach.”

So as the medals tarnish and dust collects on the trophy, Myers and his teammates will have something intangible to hold onto in the months and years to follow.

“God blessed us with this great ride,” he said. “I don’t think any of us expected to get this far.

“We were truly blessed to have made it this far and spend all this time together. I could have not asked for anything better out of my senior year.”