2020-2021 varsity baseball team receives championship rings after achieving state and national titles

Reece Gary, Senior Sports Editor

On Tuesday, Oct. 26, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School varsity baseball team continued their preseason with a match against West Broward High School. However, the game wasn’t the highlight of the day, as the team was presented with their championship rings from their previous victorious season.

During the 2020-2021 season, the Eagles proved to be one of the best teams in the nation after consistently winning against teams from across Florida in both district and non-district matches. By the end of the season, their consistently outstanding performances earned them distinction as the No. 4 ranked varsity baseball team in the United States.

Finishing with a record of 28-2, the Eagles made their way to the 7A district, regional, state, and Perfect Game national playoffs, climbing the ladder to the nation’s top spot. The Eagles were able to command nearly every field they played on, ultimately scoring an average of eight runs per game and never ending a game scoreless for the season’s entirety.

Eventually, they were able to face Spruce Creek High School in the PG National Championship, which was expected to be the team’s fiercest competitor thus far. Nonetheless, the Eagles prevailed as they dominated to win by a score of 5-1. The Eagles were crowned state champions and the title of Florida’s best varsity baseball team, an accomplishment that they had earned for the second time in school history.

“Our work ethic and everyone coming together is what contributed most to the victory. Our team was always there for each other, and our energy was always up,” Shortstop Devin Fitz-Gerald said.

As many seniors moved forward with college and professional baseball careers, the team adjusted to their partially new roster in order to remain successful for the upcoming 2021-2022 season. Part of the effort to remain atop the rankings was the involvement of a fall preseason, in which the team competed in exhibition games against other highschool teams in the area.

The team’s preseason eventually approached the game on Oct. 26, that of which they had marked for a very special occassion. After the game concluded, the Eagles would celebrate their 2020-2021 season victory with an unveiling and presentation of their championship rings. Team members, parents, and MSD fans were eager for the ring presentation to come, which was evident as the Stoneman Douglas baseball field was surrounded by a large crowd for the game’s entirety.

Fans watched the game with excitement, but it was clear that many fans attended the game for its postgame events. As the opposing team cleared the field, a table was set up at home plate to display the prestigious rings.

As the announcer of Anthony Rizzo field recapped the team’s success in their previous season, players of the 2020-2021 season made their way to the first-base line to be called to the table to receive their rings.

The players were congratulated by Principal Michelle Kefford, Athletics Director Al Guzzo, Head Coach Todd Fitz-Gerald, and several other coaches and team staff. As the players were acknowledged one-by-one, they were congratulated by their teammates, families, and fans before approaching the ring table.

“It feels amazing,” pitcher Sam Beir (5) said. “The whole team worked really hard for this. It was a full-team effort, and we strived for this the entire year. Our hard work, practice, and special bond that growed over the course of the year really showed late in the season.”

After the ceremonies, the team was given a celebratory cake to represent the fulfillment of their season-long goal, “Taking the cake.”

“[Receiving the rings] was a great moment. We’ve been waiting for it, especially because we worked really hard last season. We’re hoping to repeat it again this year,” D. Fitz-Gerald said.

As the team remained on the field with parents, coaches, and fans, they celebrated the outstanding victory of the previous season with their new rings. The Eagles are looking forward to making efforts towards repeating their championship victory in the upcoming spring season.