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Booth directed a winner

By By Todd Thompson, Hartselle Enquirer
William Booth knew several years ago that the group of 15 players in the Class of 2009 was a special bunch of kids.
What he didn’t know, however, was if that group was good enough to win Hartselle’s seventh state championship.
And after the Tigers lost three of their first five games of the season, he wasn’t any more confident in Hartselle’s chances to reach Montgomery for the Class 5A state championship series.
Hartselle was routed by Northwest Rankin 16-0 just one week into the season and the Tigers looked like anything but a state championship contender.
The embarassing loss may have been the wakeup call that Hartselle needed. The Tigers went on to win 32 of their next 36 games to get back on track.
Pitching hit top form, the offense hit full stride during the run.
The Tigers used a stretch run of 16 wins in 17 games to claim its first state championship since the 2000 season.
Booth, the 2009 Hartselle Enquirer Coach of the Year, gives the credit to the players who bought into the hard work attitude all season long.
That work ethic paid off as Hartselle achieved all of its season goals - win 40 games, win the area and win the state.
“This team wanted a (championship) ring. Those players were willing to sacrifice to get a championship ring.”
Along with the ring, however, the Tigers added another page to the Hartselle baseball championship history.
Sports editor Todd Thompson can be reached at 773-6566 or at todd.thompson@hartselleenquirer.com