CHAMPION, Ohio (WYTV) – What’s the township of Champion, Ohio — the owner of two brand new state championship trophies and a unique place in sports history — going to be like Saturday night?
“It could be a very wild night in Champion, Ohio,” Golden Flashes baseball senior Lucas Nasonti predicted Saturday afternoon.
And Champion certainly earned it.
On Saturday, the Golden Flashes baseball and softball teams both won Division III state titles. The baseball team won in the morning, before the softball team capped the perfect day with a win in the evening.
Champion High is now the second school in Ohio history to win both the baseball and softball state titles in the same year (Walsh Jesuit also accomplished the feat in 2004).
“This is the greatest thing that’s happened,” Champion senior softball pitcher McKenzie Zigmont said. “Our school is gonna be wild — it’s gonna be the greatest time. It’s the greatest feeling in the world.”
“Since the boys did it too — we both knocked off the top-ranked teams in our state as the second-seed — it’s just so cool to do it,” she added.
That’s right. Both Champion teams took down the top ranked teams that were also defending their 2016 state titles.
Golden Flashes baseball edged Berlin Hiland, 1-0, at Huntington Park in Columbus — handing the Hawks their first loss all season. Golden Flashes softball, meanwhile, downed Wheelersburg, 5-1, at Firestone Stadium in Akron.
“There’s nothing like it in the world,” Champion softball coach Cheryl Weaver said. “Think about it — it’s 2017 and Champion is champions. You can’t hardly put it into words.
“It’s just amazing because it just doesn’t happen. I’m so proud of the girls and I’m so proud of the boys, as well as the community and how they came out here today. Thank you, Champion.”
“It’s fantastic,” baseball head coach Rick Yauger said. “I knew we had a good chance, but I think there’s were better than ours.”
Champion softball captured its seventh state title in program history and first since 2015. The baseball team earned its first state championship trophy in school history.
And the teams enjoyed the ride together.
While they supported each other all season, the Golden Flashes baseball team — right after winning in Columbus Saturday around 12:30 p.m. — made the quick trip to Akron in time for softball’s 5 p.m. first pitch.
When Zigmont retired Wheelersburg in order in the bottom of the seventh to clinch the title, the baseball team joined the softball team on the field to celebrate Champion’s historic day all as one.
“It’s awesome,” softball freshman Allison Smith said. “We’re never going to be forgotten. We’ll always be remembered.”
“I’ve never seen our team want a game more than we wanted this one,” softball junior Megan Turner said. “The boys won and we knew that we also had to bring home the championship. And, tonight, history was made in champion.”