CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Being part of a state championship is very special in itself.
Knowing you’ll never lose another high school game in your life is something entirely different.
Wahama seniors Kristopher Clark, Demitrius Serevicz and Garrett Miller are living the rarest of dreams after ending their collective prep careers Saturday with a 7-0 victory over Man in the 2015 Class A baseball state final at Appalachian Power Park in Kanawha County.
The trio of recent WHS graduates have been involved in the White Falcon baseball program since their junior high years, and each has had a varying role with the varsity program over the last four seasons. The sacrifices and hard work, however, paid off in a big way — and that was even before Saturday’s victory.
Since the spring of 2012, the White Falcons have claimed four consecutive Section 4, Region 3 titles, two straight TVC Hocking crowns and the program’s first regional championship since 1998.
Wahama blitzed through the 2015 postseason by posting five shutouts and winning seven games by a collective tally of 72-7, which also included a 76-24 advantage in the hit department. The White Falcons also scored three-or-more runs in one inning of each of their seven tournament victories and committed only four errors total.
So now, after all of the heartache and setbacks, three proud Wahama graduates head out into the world already perched high on the mountain.
“It’s great to go out on top. It’s what we’ve all been working toward for four years,” Clark said. “We finally got over the hump and got what we wanted. We knew we could do this all the way back in pee wee ball. We knew we could win it and worked for it, and now we’ve done it.”
That hump, coincidentally, may have come in the Region 4 semifinals during a 6-4 victory over host Charleston Catholic at Triana Field. The Irish had previously knocked WHS out of the Class A tournament four of the previous six years.
“Honestly, the Charleston Catholic game was so sweet to us because we were finally able to put them away,” Miller said. “I pitched against them as a freshman in the regional championship game and lost, so I’ve always wanted to beat them. To finally get past them in my senior year and have things end the way they have, I never could have dreamed this for any of us.”
In following his first comment, Miller was asked to try express what being a state champion meant to him at that moment.
“It’s indescribable. After all four years, to finally achieve your one goal in baseball in your final game … it’s something I may never be able to describe,” Miller said. “I told people that I’d never be able to duplicate the feeling of winning a state championship in football as a sophomore (2012), but to do this as a senior in my final high school game makes even more special.”
Both Miller and Serevicz were starters on the Wahama football team that defeated Madonna in overtime for the 2012 Class A championship at Wheeling Island Stadium. The White Falcons are also the last Tri-Valley Conference boys team — Ohio or Hocking Division — to win a state championship for the league.
It also helped the Wahama cause in seeing so many familiar faces showing support this weekend, at least according Serevicz.
“It’s the best feeling in the world. We’re number one and we are going out on top. Nobody can ever take away from this because this is done,” Serevicz said. “It was pretty special this weekend seeing all of the red cheering us on. Our support was great this weekend and I’m glad we were able to give them something to cheer about.”
This memory will always run a little deeper for Clark, both personally and for his skipper — Tom Cullen.
“My cousin was part of the first championship here at Wahama back in 1996, and I know Coach Cullen was part of that team. It’s special to be part of that first one for him, because it is kind of like a family affair,” Clark said. “This is an awesome feeling for everyone involved, but I am glad that Coach Tom finally got one. He’s an awesome coach.”
Miller was also happy for his baseball mentor, but in actuality was thinking more of the Bend Area when reflecting on what this title meant overall.
“It’s not just for Coach Cullen or for us, this championship was for the whole Wahama community,” Miller said. “This one was also for all of those teams that came up short of this in the past, as well as all of the teams that will play at Wahama in the future. That’s what so special about it, it’s forever.”
Miller, Serevicz, Philip Hoffman and Mason Hicks also represented Wahama on the Class A all-tournament team for the 2015 campaign.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.