AKRON, Ohio — The Northview Wildcats won their first state title in program history after topping Grove City 6-1 Saturday at Canal Park in Akron.
The energy was high ahead of the state title game. Fans made the two hour drive to Akron to watch the boys compete. Northview basketball coach Jeremy MacDonald came out to support his players on the diamond.
"When a hometown school like Northview can make it to this level, it just goes to show their daily habits are good, they're committed to winning one day at a time. I'm not surprised they're here. Just really excited for them," said McDonald.
Northview teacher Ryan Creech has baseball players in his class but family playing for Grove City. Creech wore a Northview hat with a Grove City shirt to the game. No matter what happens, his team wins.
"It's a tough thing to go through but I win no matter what. That's the cool part of this," said Creech.
Also in the stands is head coach Greg Szparka's father John. The elder Szparka still remembers playing for a state title at Rogers in 1968. The Rams fell short by one run in their title game. Before the game, Szparka gave his son some advice.
"I told Greg a long time ago, when we got started, I said 'you got to do one better than Dad.' And that was to win the state title," said Szparka.
And 7 innings later, John got his wish. The Wildcats won their first state title in school history.
"It just shows that in baseball, anybody can beat anybody if they want to, and we wanted it more than anybody else. We proved it," said pitcher Blake Bradford.
After the game, coach Szparka was still processing his team's accomplishment.
"I don't even know if its sunk in yet. It's crazy," said Szparka.