Cary News

Coach of the Year: Jeremy Thompson

For the last two years, Middle Creek’s baseball players have credited their success to their mindset.

That mindset was nurtured by coach Jeremy Thompson.

Last year’s team hit a hot streak to close out the year, winning 12 straight games before the postseason.

This year’s team won the state title.

Thompson’s Mustangs went 26-7 this season, winning nine of their last 10 games and going on two separate seven-game win streaks and one six-game win streak. Yet they also went under the radar, never cracking the state’s top 10 rankings until after the season.

Both last season’s group and this year’s state champs were able to play well, especially at the right time of the year, based on little more than being as optimistic as their head coach.

The Mustangs were a loose bunch, focused more on playing for the love of the game than reaching a set goal. Yet they were also driven to win, claiming nine wins by two or fewer runs.

Winning a state championship was no easy task for Thompson’s seventh Middle Creek team, nor was returning it to last year’s winning formula. Seven starters needed to be replaced this year.

But with Thompson helping the team to focus on enjoying the ride, Middle Creek was able to claim a championship it hadn’t necessarily thought about attaining before the season, or even before the playoffs.