War Eagles Relaxed before Title Game

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ROGERS, Ark. -- The Heritage War Eagles went about one of the final practices of the season with a quiet confidence.

There was no telling that they were less than two days away from playing for the 7A state championship.

“We don’t make it a grind,” said head coach Keith Kilgore. “We come out, we try to make it a relaxed environment and teach them the game and try to have fun with it.”

And fun they have. Unexpectedly, perhaps. There are just two seniors on this roster.

“At the beginning of the year, we were all kind of looking at each other, just thinking, ‘We’ll be lucky to make it through the season,’” said senior pitcher Hunter Wood. “But as the year progressed, we grew together as a team. We’ve all just bonded so well.”

Wood is one half of the senior tandem that leads this team. The other is catcher Blake Baxendale, younger brother of Razorback pitcher DJ.

“We’re just a really calm and loose group of people,” Baxendale said. “That’s how we play the game, that’s how we practice.”

Heritage will face Bryant for the state championship on Friday at Baum Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.