NACOGDOCHES - Every swing of the bat moves the Central Heights baseball team a step close to a state title, and it's been a rewarding season so far for head coach Travis Jackson.
"The kids have worked hard all year they set some big goal at the beginning of the season winning the district championship was one of them, and getting to the state state tournament and winning the state tournament is the next one, and we played our game and here we are," says Jackson.
This is the second straight trip to the regional finals for the Blue Devils, but they haven't made a state tournament since 2011, and they haven't won a state title since 2004. This year they enter this round with just one loss. But they attribute their success to the brotherhood they've built through the years.
"It's just a bunch of guys that came together from JV with Grayson and we wanted to prove something about ourselves, and wanted to prove to everybody that we could come up from JV and do the same thing the guys did last year on the team," explains outfielder Braden Thomas.
According to pitcher Cade Watson, when it comes to his team there are advantages to being a close knit group.
"It's awesome we all have little quirks, and things we say to each other to keep us relaxed, we know how to act before a game with each other and everything and what gets everyone in the zone, it definitely is the biggest reason why we are where we are."
With a showdown against Kirbyville on deck, the Blue Devils are hoping to keep the momentum of the season moving forward so they can get back to the state tournament.
"Just focusing on little things through out practice fine tuning because we got the big things down now it's just the little things now we have to make sure don't happen," says Watson.
But for Braden Thomas it's about playing for state.
"We just want to go out there and win Thursday come back Friday and go to the state championship."