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Craig Nicks toes the rubber for Maize (Kan.) in quarterfinal game

Doubters help fuel Eagles’ desire to repeat as state champions

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Senior pitcher Craig Nicks has been the Maize (Kan.) ace all season. While Eagles coach Rocky Helm might want to save Nicks for the potential championship game, he can’t take that risk. The Eagles have to advance to the championship game before Helm starts worrying about who he’ll send to the mound. 

Nicks, who was the winning pitcher in last year’s championship game, has been dominant during his senior season. He’s undefeated, while Maize has only dropped one game. Still, Nicks and his teammates feel that some local pundits consider the Eagles a far cry from the team that stormed through the tournament en route to the title last year.

The doubters have only fueled the Eagles’ desires to win a second straight championship. An early-season loss to Hutchinson (Kan.) helped Maize refocus and they’ve been rolling ever since.

The Eagles have played several close games this season with Nicks on the mound. Helm appreciates that his ace doesn’t get rattled, even when he falls behind early or doesn’t have his best stuff. Every game that Maize plays this weekend figures to be close. As defending state champs, the Eagles will get every opposing team’s best shot.

Watch Other Episodes:

Watch Episode 1: Staying Hungry
Watch Episode 2: Staying Strong
Watch Episode 3: Mental Approach
Watch Episode 4: Recovery
Watch Episode 5: Winning Tradition
Watch Episode 6: Getting Settled
Watch Episode 7: Scouting Report
Watch Episode 8: Early-Morning Wakeup




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