New Diana Bound For Regional Semifinals - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/25/05-Diana

New Diana Bound For Regional Semifinals

For the New Diana Eagles, this school year has gotten down to the cake.

"We're done with school basically, we're just sitting around waiting on Friday," senior catcher Ryan Fowler says. "Baseball's going good, we're about to graduate...life can't get no better."

Last weekend, the Eagles knocked off last year's state champion Central Heights. Thursday, they'll start a three game series with Franklin. This week's workouts are light and relaxed, thanks to their secret weapon, coach Andy Malone.

"He's a really good coach," Fowler says, "He's made the trip to Austin a few times, he believes in us, and he makes us belive in each other, and that's what carries us."

"He says that this team is capable of going to state," senior pitcher Jarrad Hollis says, "he knows what that's like. For him to tell us that we have a chance, I believe him and it inspires the whole team."

In Malone's more than thirty years of experience, he's won two state championships and gone to the Final Four four times, including once in an earlier stint with New Diana. He says the chemistry on this team makes this team as much fun as any he's ever coached.

"We'll sit there in that dugout," Malone says, "and it won't even be baseball for fifteen or twenty minutes. Same way after practice, just talking about about life in general."

"Then, hey, let's get to work. You don't have to say do this, they know exactly what we're doing."

New Diana plays Franklin in a three game series at Jacksonville. Game one will be Thursday night at 7:30, games two and three begin at noon on Saturday.

Reid Kerr (rkerr@kltv.com) reporting.

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