The high school baseball season is a long road with many twists and turns. However, the North boys have stuck together, negotiating every bump to remain state title contenders.
"We're a bunch of brothers," said North senior catcher Cordell Coburn. "We really do love each other. An we play for each other day in and day out."
"Chaotic," said North senior pitcher/infielder Kyle Carpenter. "I mean, we're a super fun team."
"They are a special group and they really bond well together," said North head baseball coach Jeremy Jones.
State-ranked for most of the season, the North baseball team has stuck together through thick an thin. However, with a deep line-up that goes all the way to the last man on the bench, it's been mostly thick.
"We're solid all the way around," said Carpenter. "We've got a solid 16 guys. Our roster is very deep. Whoever's not on the field, they're ready to go. It's just a great dugout."
"That's what really makes us different," said Coburn. "We can go one through 16, and there's not a letdown. We are so deep this year. That's what's going to be dangerous once sectionals roll around."
"It's a really good problem to have," said Jones. "Unfortunately, we have guys who are really good baseball players that haven't got as many at-bats as they wanted to this year. But everyone has bought into this system. That's what makes it exciting. Guys that aren't playing? They're our biggest cheerleaders in the dugout. They're the first guys out of the dugout. Guys giving high-fives to guys playing ahead of them. They're just so unselfish. And that's probably a great way to describe our team. They're unselfish. They pull for each other. They encourage each other. They're making fun of each other all the time. It's just a really great group."
And there's been plenty to high-five. At 17-and-3, Gang Green has tormented most of the opposition both at the dish or on the mound.
"Oh it's amazing, being ranked one of the best teams in the state," said Carpenter. "It's great. All our teammates have each other's back and we're having a great year so far."
"Regardless of record or anything else, these guys have worked really hard and they love being around each other," said Jones. "So it's exciting for us to come out to the field and hang out with the guys. But at the same time, they want to have fun, but they want to get better. And that's the great thing about them. They're coachable."
And despite the Huskies strong start, that has come into play. After having their perfect start scuttled by Castle, North reeled off seven straight wins, only to be shocked at home by Mater Dei last Friday. A loss to New Albany followed the next day. However, head coach Jeremy Jones' happy go lucky squad has learned to take it all in stride.
"It's just adjustments," said Jones. "We talk about it. You're going to have it as hitters. There's going to be days where you're going to have at 'em balls. There are days where you're just going to be struggling a little bit and how do you deal with it the next game."
There are still three weeks left in the regular season. Time to prepare for what they hope will be a rematch with their bitter rivals from Castle.
"Every day, every game, every practice we think about that loss," said Coburn. "It really does feel like ever since then we've been really ready to roll. And we hope to see them again when sectionals roll around."
"We want that more than anything," said said Carpenter. That would be one heck of a match-up to see them again. We, for sure, would be ready.