Apaches return home with 4th National Championship - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Apaches return home with 4th National Championship

KLTV Staff KLTV Staff

Four seasons have come and gone, but one thing has stayed constant. The Tyler Junior College Apaches are the last team left dogpiling in celebration. 

"I knew I could get to it. I wasn't going to let the right fielder catch it, I wanted it. On the way down I kinda started celebrating in my mind, caught it, and then just got over to the dogpile as fast as I could," said Matt Mikusek, sophomore infielder. 

"It was amazing. It was the best feeling of my life getting to run out there with my brothers and just dogpiling at the very end," said Aberee Hiebert, sophomore pitcher. 

"Running in the dogpile you just feel like all the energy is coming out of your body. And once you get on the dogpile there's just so much joy and love," said Jarel McDade, sophomore outfielder. 

The Apaches will go down in history as the first junior college baseball team to pull off four straight national championships. But to this team, their 2017 trophy not only represents that accomplishment, it represents a year filled with adversity.    

"We knew we had a chance to four-peat and all that, but in the moment it was just we got the win, we got the trophy. We put in all this work all year long and we were able to come out be successful with something really important that will stay with us for the rest of our lives," said McDade. 

"We went thew some ups and downs, we lost a couple of series there in the mid year. We lost our identity for a minute. But these guys they rallied together and that adversity just brings them together," said Doug Wren, Apaches Head Baseball Coach.  

"At the very beginning of the year we had so many injuries. Everybody went down, and then we all kinda bogged down. Then ended up winning a national championship, and it was amazing," said Hiebert. 

While the sophomores will now be tasked with finding a new team to call home, they leave behind an opportunity for future players to do something crazier then a four-peat. 

"Here it's just kind of the next group stands up. We felt that responsibility, we didn't want to be the ones that ended that streak. but now next year there is going to be a new group that's been there before so they can kind of take the reigns and go up there and take care of business again," said Mikusek. 

"Obviously coming back now it's nice to have one. But the jobs still not done, once we come back in the fall this season is over and we got another job to take care of. You just got to stay hungry and that's what we are going to go by," said Taylor Broadway, freshman utility player. 

"I think in August we will sit down with the guys can talk about getting a plan together to go five-peat. As crazy as that sounds we are going to have that opportunity to do that. So, just like any other year we are going to take it one game at a time," said Coach Wren. 

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