As a graduate of White Hall in 2008, I had never witnessed the Bulldogs win a state title in any sport. After I left Fayetteville that weekend in May, I had watched White Hall capture two state titles in two days.
The atmosphere in Bogle Park and Baum Stadium over the weekend was electric and I was pleasantly surprised at how well the White Hall fans had traveled the nearly 230 miles to support the teams.
The softball team was no stranger to the state title game as they were going for their third-consecutive state title. With this being my first time seeing White Hall play in a state championship game, I was nervous for them. The Lady Bulldogs, however, were fearless.
As I watched the game from the first-base side along with some friends, it was evident the Lady Bulldogs were not going to be denied their third-straight title. They played lights out and always battled back against an equally determined Vilonia team.
After the final out, the White Hall side cheered and I gave the people around me high fives as we watched the Lady Bulldogs celebrate their win on the field. With one exciting game down, I wasn’t sure what to expect the next day for the baseball game.
When Pulaski Academy’s Merritt Osment hit a deep fly ball to center field with two on and one out in the seventh inning, the White Hall fans and I held our collective breath as we watched Aaron Johnston sprint towards the wall.
When Johnston caught the ball near the warning track and threw it back to second base for a game-ending double play, a sigh of relief and enjoyment hit the stands on the White Hall side at Baum Stadium as we erupted in celebration. The Pulaski Academy side stood in disbelief.
The Cinderella No. 4 seed from the 5A-South Conference had climbed the mountain and took the title from the defending state champions. It was a surreal moment.
Through the cheering and the hugging, the crowd watched as the Bulldogs captured its second state title in the past three years while completing the 5A state sweep for the city of White Hall.
Watching your alma mater win a state title in any sport is a treat. As the players hoisted the trophy over their heads, you could see the excitement and satisfaction of the hard work they had put in all year had finally paid off. It really brings a smile to your face.
Winning a state title puts your city on the map and honestly it’s fun to tell other people that you are a part of a community that is home to a state champion. It also made the nearly four-hour drive much more bearable.
As a fellow member of the White Hall community, I would like to say congratulations to the members of the 2014 Bulldogs baseball and Lady Bulldogs softball teams. You earned a spot in White Hall’s sports history and nobody can take that away from you.