Behind the Scenes...TJC Baseball Team - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/23/2007-Tyler

Behind the Scenes...TJC Baseball Team

It was a come from behind late in the ninth inning victory for Tyler Junior College Tuesday night.  Now they are headed to the World Series Championship game.

The story behind this baseball team is quite remarkable. A story of perserverance, endurance, and a coach with a lot of character.

Since coach Jon Groth took the reigns, theTJC baseball team has overcome many obstacles.

"My first 10 years we were Division 1 full scholarship and the last five have been non scholarships," said Head Coach Jim Groth, "The biggest adjustment was recruiting and having kids come in and play as opposed to not."

Athletic Director Jim Drain said nobody could have done this like Coach Groth.

"Keeping the program at the same expectations of the kids regardless of non scholarship scholarship. John has high expectations of these kids on and off the field."

Despite recruiting challenges Coach Groth has athletes from all of the state. This years roster has only two from East Texas.

Twins Cooper and Davis Page from Southlake both turned down full scholarships to play together.

"I got a scholarship to Southwestern Louisiana that I turned away," said Davis.

"We are getting to playing on of the best teams in the country..It's a great atmosphere. Got the best fans in the world. Pack the house out and its so much fun to play," said Cooper.

But behind the smiles, they've been through alot Cooper had cancer at age seven

"I knew he could die but it didn't really soak in until later on in life...my family really struggled with it at different times," said Davis.

Despite challenges they are happy to be here at TJC.

"We pay to go to school and we pay to play and we try to have fun," said Cooper.

Coach Groth focuses on the heart and building the character of these young men, knowing there is more to life than baseball.

"What you cant do is allow it to define who we are," said Coach Groth.

Brandon Seay, freshman player from Wichita Falls told KLTV "Our coach has always pushed us. Forced us to play to the best of our ability."

It seems they are playing to the best of their ability....they feel on top of the world

The Apachies play in the world series championship game at 4 pm Thursday at Mike Carter Field.

Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@kltv.com    

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