Larry Sullivan

Larry Sullivan

Actually, this wound up being a much closer call than one might expect.

Ultimately, the combination of perfect timing and special circumstances surrounding the effort served to surface as the deciding factors.

As a result, Mooresville High School’s baseball team emerges with the premier immediate area’s high school athletic-based achievement of the recently-concluded 2018-19 sports year.

At a time when Mooresville was in dire need of something positive to transpire, the diamond-based Blue Devils more than eagerly obliged. The Devils streaked their way through a month’s worth of postseason play and capped the experience with their program’s first-ever statewide championship crown accomplished at any level.

Mooresville, the regular-season co-champion within the I-Meck Conference and denied a bid at snaring the league’s tournament title following a semifinal round loss, hit its proverbial peak from that particular point. The Blue Devils knocked off the likes of three higher-seeded entries – defeating one of them twice during the course of regional final competition – among the total of five teams faced in preliminary play just to reach the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s 4A class title best-of-three-games series.

There, and continuing such a surge, even an attempt by Mother Nature failed to derail the team’s charge. Forced to appear in two games on the same day for the first time all season after weather delays threw a curve ball into the scheduled proceedings, the Devils jumped at the chance. Twice overcoming multiple-run deficits, first-time West Region kingpin Mooresville triumphed over East Region representative Corinth Holders by comeback scores of 5-2 and 8-2, respectively.

Extending in the process their season’s best win streak to eight games, the Devils displayed the state championship trophy for all to see. And many welcomed the view.

Mooresville was still rocked somewhat with mixed emotions over the fatal shooting of Mooresville Police Officer Jordan Sheldon during a traffic stop in early May. The aftermath of that mourning period practically followed the Devils throughout the playoff stay. Emotional tributes were staged regularly during each of the team’s homefield postseason appearances.

The team made sure its success served to help ease some of the lingering sadness, indicating during the post-game celebration that the verdict was rendered for all of Mooresville. A deed this good deserves to be so decorated.

Before the baseball team excelled, Mooresville’s wrestling program was in line to be recognized as the year’s best.

Considered in most wrestling-related circles to be even more impressive than capturing a state dual-team title, the Blue Devils rode a record number three individual weight class champions saddled up alongside the placing of as many solo qualifiers into the state finals as ever before into the successful defending of their second consecutive individual state 4A class team title.

The major achievement, following what many viewed a controversial ruling looming large in denying Mooresville its program’s first-ever berth in a dual-team finale, came in an event in which all of the state’s top-tier wrestlers are gathered at a single site serving to make the feat that much more difficult to achieve.

Best of luck of all 2019-20 year high school sports programs in their attempts to rule as the best of the best.

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