This is the time of the school year when parents, students and educators all can lapse into summertime doldrums or even bouts of ‘senioritis’ – an affliction common to many 12th-graders.
“It’s really a stressful time if you think about the kids getting ready for summer break, teachers and administrators closing out the school year and for some of these parents, they’re about to send their kids off to college,” said Colleyville Heritage principal Lance Groppel. “The excitement around the baseball team really brings a different level of enthusiasm that we can’t create as educators.”
Colleyville Heritage is one of five Class 6A or 5A Tarrant County teams competing for a berth in next week’s UIL state baseball tournament in Round Rock.
All the Tarrant County teams are playing at Dallas Baptist University beginning Thursday.
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Heritage (37-4) meets Grapevine (30-11) in the Class 5A Region I final, and Mansfield Legacy (26-10) plays Frisco Wakeland (36-4) in the 5A Region II final.
Class 6A rivals Southlake Carroll (30-10) and Arlington Martin (31-7) square off in their Region I final for the third time since 2012.
Meanwhile, the Colleyville Heritage Panthers-Grapevine Mustangs matchup has quickly evolved into an intense rivalry.
Just six weeks ago, teams, whose schools are about 4 miles apart, met in the final week of the UIL regular season to decide the District 8-5A title.
The April 25 game was won by Grapevine, 10-0. Colleyville Heritage won the April 28 game 2-0 and about 2,500 fans crammed in and around the field at Colleyville Heritage.
“Yeah there was a little anxiety with that one,” Groppel said. “We checked it out and made sure there wasn’t any risk, but it was clearly an example of why we couldn’t have this series stay in town.
Grapevine won the April 29 District 8-5A seeding game, 6-3.
“Mainly, if fans come out, they want to enjoy the baseball game, they don’t want to hang out in the bullpen or sit on the back of a truck in the outfield,” he added. “There was never really a serious consideration of having it in town, because there’s just not enough room for everyone, especially if there could be next to 3,000 in attendance.”
DBU’s ballpark packed in 3,242 spectators for an NCAA regional tournament game in 2015.
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REGION I FINAL
Arlington Martin (31-7) vs. Southlake Carroll (30-10)
Game 1: 5 p.m. Thursday, Dallas Baptist Univ.
Game 1: 2 p.m. Friday, Dallas Baptist Univ.
Game *3: 11 a.m. Saturday, Dallas Baptist Univ.
REGION I FINAL
Grapevine (30-11) vs. Colleyville Heritage (37-4)
Game 1: 8 p.m. Friday, Dallas Baptist Univ.
Game 2-*3: 2 p.m. Saturday, Dallas Baptist Univ.
REGION II FINAL
Mansfield Legacy (26-10) vs. Frisco Wakeland (36-4)
Game 1: 8 p.m. Thursday, Dallas Baptist Univ.
Game 1: 5 p.m. Friday, Dallas Baptist Univ.
Game *3: 8 p.m. Saturday, Dallas Baptist Univ.