The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

July 25, 2013

Blue Demons ends 11-year wait to return to state baseball tournament

FAIRFIELD – A lot has changed in the world since the summer of 2002.

For example, if Boyd Brittan was planning on taking the same route that his last team took to get to the state baseball tournament, he’d be leading them a long ways off course. In the 11 years since Brittan’s Blue Demons last played among the elite eight teams left in Class 2A, the tournament has had a change in scenery.

No, the Albia baseball team won’t be returning to the site of their last state baseball appearance in 2002 when the Blue Demons played in Marshalltown back when there were two separate state baseball tournament sites. Every prep baseball team in Iowa that makes it will head to same place they have since 2005, to Principal Park in Des Moines.

But one thing that hasn’t changed 11 years later for Brittan is that no matter where his team’s going to play, he’s just going to enjoy the ride back to state.

“Hey. I don’t have to drive them there,” Brittan joked. “That’s the bus driver’s job to get us there.”

There will be Principal Park. There will be Des Moines. There will be the 2A State Baseball Tournament on Monday night. There will be Albia in the field for the first time since 2002.

The Blue Demons booked their first state baseball ticket in over decade Tuesday night with a 4-1 win over Mediapolis, leading from wire-to-wire to win the Substate 6 Championship. When it was over, there were hugs, celebrations, congratulations and one great big Gatorade bath given to a very emotional head coach who found it hard to put into words what he just watched his team accomplish together.

“I just can’t really say a whole lot more,” Brittan said. “It’s just another great team effort. Just so many outstanding plays. I truly believe this is a team has worked hard, had its problems, worked through them and blended together at the right time.

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