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Rocket Finishes Near Perfect (11-1), Moves up to C for '14


 It was well below freezing when an 'Army of the Interested' pressed hard into the whipping winds swirling about the Schuylkill in January. While the immediate goal of reaching a new practice field was a mere two miles away, their true destination was waiting patiently four months down the road in the form of a division championship and playoff berth. That initial group, numbering over fifty on the daily, commanded the attention of tourists who had simply come for a pic of the famous Rocky Statue after running the steps in pseudo-mocking fashion. While they would get their picture after struggling up and down the steps in designer boots, they would also leave the Museum witnessing some dedicated, never-say-die young "Rocks" in the making.  

As was expected, the "interested" dwindled when the sessions increased in intensity and frequency. However, those who kept coming back for more formed the core of a dominating "Army of One" set to do battle from beginning to end. While their heroes and role models worked out in the golden sun of Florida and Arizona, this Army did so in defiance of the elements. When both started their respective seasons on April 1st, it was as if the roles had been reversed and the professionals paled in comparison to the amateurs. 

"There were three main goals when we started out this season", said SLA Varsity Baseball Coach Doug Herman before the team took the field vs. Sankofa in their final regular season game. "We set out to establish a J.V. squad to expand our program, finally secure a home field, and we looked to command our own destiny with solid, fundamental performances to earn the right to move up in the Varsity ranks. We obviously achieved the first two, thanks to the addition of Coach Dan Winterstein, but a solid win today will help us accomplish all three." While having the Umpires officially deem the field unplayable on the final day of the Regular Season was not how this team wanted to earn a trip to C, they'll take it. 

That Army, formed through the dark days of painful practices in swirling winds and bone-cold temps behind the ominous towers of Lee Park, never took their eyes off the prize. That Army, which would become known simply as "The Rocket", would weather all sorts of storms and suffer through hours of daily public transit to attend practices. That Army, which never let anything ruffle their feathers, had something to prove and constantly put their all on display. It was clear to anyone who glimpsed at the standings or box scores during this 2013 Season that this Army walked the talk and clobbered most who they faced. 

From the very first game, when King's most Dedicated forgot he wasn't coaching football, and chose to incessantly bark his orders instead of sending signs, to the very end when Sankofa's coach didn't lift a finger to prepare their field for battle, "The Rocket" maintained composure and completed a near-perfect season, finishing 11-1. But these warriors were gentlemen too. They dominated but never forgot where they came from. Remembering what it was like to be on the receiving end of mismatched beat downs, they moved toward their goal with class and earned the respect of everyone along the way.

"Started from the bottom, now the whole team here."




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