Two seasons ago Staunton River’s season ended after a William Byrd player hit a walk off home run against the Eagles in the District Tournament. The players and coaches remember how that felt and ever since then they’ve used that moment as fuel to reach higher goals.
A “workman-like attitude” paid off in the ensuing season. The Golden Eagles reached the Region semifinals.
This season they’re 13-3 with notable wins over Jefferson Forest (twice), William Byrd, Rockbridge, and Lord Botetourt.
Head coach Brian Divers has been at the helm for 14 seasons and after nearly a decade of struggles, the program is on the fast track to the postseason once again. "I think the big thing is our kids at a younger age have really gotten involved in baseball. We started travel teams. We got involved with the youth and doing camps and stuff and it just generated a little bit more excitement about the game of baseball and I've coached a lot of these kids since they were 7 and 8 years old and being able to coach them so long, that's helped us tremendously."
Last season the Eagles finished with 15 wins. This year they plan to exceed that mark. "We understand a little bit about the tournament. A lot of these kids have been in that environment and we've learned how to adapt to it and keep ourselves calm under the pressure," Divers said.
Divers’ son Jake is the starting shortstop and said, “Since we were 6 and 7 years old we've been playing together and it's really created a good bond between everybody and a good chemistry and I think it takes some of that to win."
Teammate Collin Watkins added, "We're so close to each other and we play for each other. It's not about anybody individually. It's about the whole team."