Two local baseball teams win state championships

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 5:57 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta Christian coming hot off their state championship win is celebrating at home.

For two programs in the CSRA, they’ve almost been there when it comes to a state championship.

Over the past weekend, Augusta Christian and Harlem closed the gap and brought home their first state championships in years and with it set new expectations for their athletic programs.

Two separate programs, two separate histories, one outcome- state champs.

“90 percent of people want to be good, but only 10 percent, that’ll work to be good. And these coaches and players have really put in the work,” said Charles Cooper, Augusta Christian athletic director.

Rodney Holder, Harlem athletic director, said: “To finally win, that thing is huge.”

The Lions have been waiting for this since nabbing three straight state championships in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

Cooper said: “It has been just a really quick rise to the top hoping you know that we can sustain that.”

Harlem fans have stuck by through thick and thin for 37 years watching and hoping that this year may just be it.

Holder said: “To win one, it’s just so special because you got to get a little lucky, you got to catch some breaks.”

What made it happen for Augusta Christian was a new coach.

Cooper said: “He’s one of those coaches that we look back at this first championship year down the road. I’m hoping and saying, well, I didn’t do that right. You know, back in year two, year 10, I’m doing things right, and just continue to get better and better.”

In Harlem, where red runs deeper than water, it was trusting in the one and only Jimmie Lewis to get it done again.

Holder said: “Eventually you win when the right formula is there. You’re gonna win every year with a guy like Coach Lewis, because of what he puts into those kids.”

It all led to the reawakening of two programs.

Cooper said: “It’s really brought a lot of eyes to school, so people don’t want to know about it. It used to be that people didn’t know our schools here. And now they know our schools here.”

Holder said: “Next year is a brand new year, you know, we got to do it again and listen to the coach and, you know, take that consistency that he’s going to put into them.”

Holder says they’re still looking at dates for a ring celebration this fall. He just put in the ring order Tuesday morning.