Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Win Puts Indians in an Elite Category

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Win Puts Indians in an Elite Category

Article excerpt

FORT MYERS

In the shadow of the Green Monster, Venice's Green Monster did it again.

It's called JetBlue Park, but after what the baseball Indians accomplished here on Saturday, doesn't JetGreen sound a little more fitting?

Might as well get it out of the way. Venice's 14-4 victory over Haines City for the Class 7A state championship was the team's second-straight baseball crown and the first time any Venice sports team has won consecutive titles.

The Indians' hardball back-to-backers was last accomplished by an area school when the Sarasota Sailors did it in 1993-94. And not since Southeast High claimed titles in football and boys basketball in 1994 has an area school been two-sport tops in the same year.

First Venice volleyball, now its diamond dominators.

Let's all admit it. Everyone else around the state is just you- know-what with envy.

So it's only natural for comparisons to be made between this team and all the other great ones our area has been privileged to watch over the years. But when you factor in the 29 victories posted by this Indian club, against some top-flight competition, with 19 of those wins coming via shutout, the list of worthy competitors shrinks rapidly.

"I didn't get to see all those teams,'' said Venice head coach Craig Faulkner, "but I'm very proud of this team. There have been some good teams in our area, but they can't be much better than these guys.

"They came to the field every day prepared and there were no issues with them. They were ready to work, and they were blue- collar, got after it, they handled everything we threw at them. They're going to be a fond memory.''

Well, then, Craig, a fairer question: How does this team stack up to last season's?

"Last year's team built a foundation for this team. They did some great things, but none better than this team. The competition we played day in and day out . …

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