We Are the Champions

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We Are the Champions

Central Arizona College (CAC Athletics)

Central Arizona College (CAC Athletics)

Central Arizona College (CAC Athletics)

Cherokee LeBeau

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The CAC baseball team won the 2019 JUCO National Championship on June 2 in Grand Junction, CO. This is the program’s third National title and it is the CAC athletic department’s 42nd overall.

The Vaqueros opened up their 2019 season in Las Vegas playing some of the top teams in one of the toughest conferences in the country. This high level of competition prepares the players for any challenge they may face at the end of the season, and through it all they became a tightknit group and faced adversity head on.

In the final two weeks of the regular season, Central was nearly eliminated from playoff contention. They ended up winning 7 straight games to make the playoffs. Once they got to the post season, they took their opportunity and ran with it. Central ended their season winning 19 of their last 21 games. When being asked about the post season run, Red-Shirt Freshman, Logan Valencia said, “It was an unreal experience. We had to win our last seven games to even make it into playoffs, and once we did, we knew we were going to take it all.”

The Vaqueros finished the 2019 season with a record of 50-20. A large part of this success can be attributed to a heavy sophomore class. The Vaqs roster included 20 sophomores, of which 19 continued their career at the division 1 level, and 5 of those players were selected in the MLB draft. With workouts, morning mountain runs, and practice starting in August, the Vaqueros put in tireless hours on and off the field. With all the blood, sweat, and tears that the players pour into their craft, the results always seem to follow. This past year it led to being crowned the top team in the country.

When Valencia was asked about what he will remember from the 2019 season, he said, “I will remember how hard we worked to compete for a national championship, and also how it felt to win a national championship with my brothers.”

CAC is known as one of the top JUCOs in the country, and such a strong reputation attracts players from across the country and even internationally. Central has had 18 former players make it to the MLB, and many have had very successful careers.

Every player who steps foot here in Coolidge has aspirations to play at the highest level after their time at Central. With the countless hours of dedication and the relentless work ethic, CAC provides its athletes with unlimited possibilities for their futures. There is no end in sight for this program’s success. The 2020 roster is looking strong as they hope to repeat the success of the previous season.

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