Elkhart Central Baseball State Champions celebrated by community - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Elkhart Central Baseball State Champions celebrated by community

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Its been 20 years since a fire truck was packed full of an Elkhart Central Championship team like it was Monday night when a fire engine dropped off the baseball team at the school.

For Tom Kurth, who coached the 1993 Blue Blazer track team that won a state title, the celebration was a trip down memory lane.

"It brought back memories," said Kurth. "I'll tell you that getting on top of that fire truck is something special. That's something only state champions do."

Monday roughly 500 people from the city rallied around the 2013 Blazers baseball team who won the IHSAA Class 4A State Title Saturday in Indianapolis. The Blazers were lead by senior pitcher Tanner Tully who threw a shut-out and hit an early solo home run that helped win the game 1-0.

The Blue Blazers championship was special for the Elkhart community because it was first time in city history a team won the baseball state title.

Monday's celebration was especially rewarding for players who were on the 1988 Central team that lost in Semi-State 25 years ago. Prior to this season no team in Central history had made it further than the '88 team.

"It's amazing for the community," said Tony Russo, who played on the 1988 team. "I'm glad they won because I know how we felt when we lost and I'm glad they won. It's great for everybody."

Athletic Director Brian Buckley has only been with the school for four years, but he also knows to cherish this moment because of how tough state titles are to come by.  

"Now everyday to come in and have a state championship trophy staring you in the face is going to be pretty special," said Buckley.

Even for the fans who will not get to see the trophy everyday, the ride this team has taken them on will be something most of them will remember for the rest of their lives. Take it from someone who is still being asked about his state title 20 years later.

"It's special and it will be special to this community forever," said Kurth. "They'll never forget it. They'll talk about it forever."

Mayor Dick Moore announced at the ceremony that the city will be placing six signs around town that read: "Home of Elkhart Central Blue Blazers 2013 Baseball State Champions"

The team will be fitted for championship rings in the upcoming weeks. There is a team banquet scheduled in July.

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