Poplar Springs faces Chipley 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, at Poplar Springs in region semi-final play

Published: Monday, April 29, 2013 at 03:29 PM.

They have compiled a 19-2 record thus far, one of the losses by one run to Chipley, behind freshmen pitchers Ashlyn Golden and Paige Smith. There only is one senior on the roster, so clearly this program appears poised to add a new page to the school’s athletic history book, which at this point is more of a pamphlet.

Poplar Springs won back-to-back state Class C titles in boys basketball under Herman Dodson in 1966 and 1967. Forgive the current enrollment of the school, totaling 330 students grades K-12, for not having that pedigree engrained into memory. Suffice to say that for a group of teenagers 30 years between district titles is a very long dearth of success, twice a lifetime for some of these players.

Junior catcher Savannah Ryken clearly is one of the team leaders, as is sophomore second baseman Joley Dixon. The difference between these athletes and those in higher classifications is that many of Hall’s players have been on the varsity since their seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade years.

Not surprisingly, what they’ve already accomplished has created quite a buzz in the community. Hall said that the paid gate for the district championship was 212 spectators, and speculated that might double on Tuesday with Chipley located about 18 miles away.

Bay County would have a difficult time matching that. But then again, nothing about this Poplar Springs team is easily replicated.

Hall said that some members of the community are getting a banner made to commemorate what has thus far been achieved. It is a fitting tribute. And quite possibly, the start of something altogether even more lasting.



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