With more than 129 wins and three national titles, the senior members of the CSU baseball team are creating a legacy.
The group aims to be the first team in National Club Baseball Association history to win four consecutive titles when they begin regionals next week.
But their time at CSU hasnâ€™t been all about wins and losses.
Senior third baseman Jake Fox said the connections he has made will be his fondest memories.
â€œThe greatest part of this team is the bond Iâ€™ve made with my teammates,â€ Fox said. â€œTheyâ€™re a great group of guys, and being able to win three championships together is something special.â€
After winning it all in 2008, 2009 and 2010, the team once again aims to win their fourth straight title this May. Their road to the title begins with regional play next week. If they advance then theyâ€™ll move on to the Club World Series, where theyâ€™ll aim to accomplish something never done at CSU: Win four straight titles.
Interim coach Thomas Ahrens, who took over this year after Head Coach Mike Abernathy was relieved of his duties, wants to send his seniors out on top.
â€œWinning another championship, to get to four in a row, would be tops,â€ Ahrens said. â€œThatâ€™d be the most appropriate way to send off such a successful group of guys.â€
The team, which has performed at a club level since the â€˜90s, has seen immense success throughout the past decade. The group, however, focuses more on the love of the game than the importance of gaudy stats and personal gains.
â€œThereâ€™s no â€˜Iâ€™ guys here,â€ senior first baseman Josh Ary said. â€œWe play collectively, and share a common goal of success, which is what separates us from the rest.â€
The teamâ€™s shortstop, Brian Chuckran, said he has grown both on and off the field as a result of the culture at CSU.
â€œThe winning atmosphere here has definitely transferred to my personal life,â€ Chuckran said. â€œThe drive required to succeed at the level we have has taught me the importance of hard work, and the consequences of complacency.â€
Some members of the team have even transferred from scholarships at NCAA -sanctioned teams to play for the club team. Senior pitcher CJ Cannell played for two years at Mesa State University in Grand Junction, but transferred after a friend left for CSU.
â€œMy experience at Mesa State was rather disappointing, and my friend Brian Enewold recommended CSU, so I figured to give it a shot,â€ Cannell said. â€œIt was the best decision I made in my life.â€
The seniors wanted to thank the efforts of their parents and the coaching staff, who both volunteer countless hours to support the team. Also, the players have to foot the bill when it comes to travel and living expenses, which usually requires parental support.
â€œItâ€™s been a real treat to play with this group of guys, I want to also thank the parents for being so supportive, and I want to tell them that we wouldnâ€™t be where we are without them,â€ Cannell said.
Club Sports Beat Reporter Christopher Boan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.