CARY, N.C. - The Coker Cobras are back from their trip to the College World Series, and while it was a brief stint, the program's first and only coach is telling his kids not to worry about being knocked out.
"You don't have to win a championship to be a champion," explained long time head coach Dave Schmotzer. "And these guys are champs. And we had this whole big world series dream and expectation, it didn't come, but they can't take what we did away from us."
But a brief slump before April had this team wondering if it would even make it past the end of the regular season.
"On senior day, we had two games that day (against Belmont Abbey), and we just said 'hey if we don't step up here we might not even make it to conference', so we rode that wave, we won those two games, we came back, and I don't even know how many we won," said catch Frank Suarez.
Since that day in April, Coker won 13 out of its last 17 games, while winning the conference and southeast region crowns in the process.
"I've been here four years, and we've never even made it to the conference tournament and I remember my mom saying 'let's make it to conference this year,' said senior pitcher Tyler Witzel. "We go and win that and then we go 4-0 in the Southeast Region, it's just...you know, we work for this. I've been working for this for four years and it finally happened."
Ending the year in Cary is just a crowning achievement for a program that has seen success unlike any other in school history.
"Guys have nothing to be ashamed of. Coaches have been here forever. This is a limelight time for all of these guys that were involved with this year, and they'll take it with them and treasure it forever."