ELGIN, OK (KSWO) – After nearly 50 years of waiting, the 1969 Elgin High School baseball team is no longer the school's lone state champion in the sport.
The team won their second state championship last Saturday, defeating Blanchard.
Three of the players on that 1969 team have remained around Elgin. Gary Ezell was a shortstop on that team. Phillip Barnett was a first baseman and a pitcher. Eddie McDonald played second base and outfield. All have stayed in touch with the program over the years, including McDonald who has also been an Elgin junior high coach in the past. He said he still delivers the same message to the team each season.
"When I came back in 91, every year I'd say to the boys, y'all have to do it this year because we're the only ones that have done it so ya'll have to do it. And they'd go OK this is our year," McDonald said.
The three men say seeing a new generation of players win it all brought back a whirlwind of memories of their championship run.
"It's like yesterday. It was a horrible night, we really had a tough time, me and my other pitcher," Barnett said.
"We won our state championship right there at ABC Park at Lawton High. I remember that night vividly, it was a cold rainy night and we played Latta," Ezell said.
"It was pretty thrilling because everyone in the Elgin area could come to it, they didn't have to travel," McDonald said.
Ezell said he thinks this win will have a huge impact on children in the Elgin community.
"It gives them something to strive for. If he can do it, I can do it. Whether they're willing to make the sacrifices it takes to get there, that's on them. But it is possible if you're willing to do what it takes," Ezell said.
McDonald said he thinks this win could be a sign of good things to come in Elgin.
"I'd like to see it keep going. We might not get to see it long because we're getting old but for everyone else and the town and the school of Elgin. It'd be great if we can get it going. And I think we will," McDonald said.
Barnett said he was thrilled that another group of high schoolers is finally adding another chapter to the Elgin baseball story.
"They'll remember this the rest of their life. It's a good thing because us guys, we're not going to be here, our stories are going to run out here before too long. We need someone else to tell the story," Barnett said.
All three of the men noted that winning a state championship is extremely hard and requires lots of luck along the way. They said they're excited to keep watching Elgin in the future to see where the program goes from here.