From Staff Reports
Atlanta Christian College's Charger baseball team made history recently, winning the national championship at the National Christian College Athletic Association's Division II World Series.
The title is the first for ACC's baseball program.
Local athletes who played for the Chargers are Justin Cardell and Justin Herring, both of Stockbridge; and Jeff Mitchell and Jacob Moore, both from the Locust Grove area.
Herring and Moore pitched and had two wins each, and Moore was named tournament MVP.
"It was just fun this year," said Jesse Dyar, head coach and a 2006 graduate of Atlanta Christian. "Everybody was focused on winning a national championship - that was our goal all along."
Dyar played high school baseball at Henry County for former baseball coach Chuck Campbell.
The now retired coach and teacher is not surprised his former second baseball went into the coaching business.
"I always knew he was going to make a great coach someday, because he was always a student of the game, and always wanted to know why we did certain things," Campbell said.
Ranked first in the nation throughout the 2010 season in the NCCAA national poll, the Chargers were the top-seeded team going into the World Series, held at Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio.
This was Atlanta Christian's third trip to the World Series in three years. The Chargers defeated Maranatha Baptist Bible College, Lancaster Bible College and region rivals Toccoa Falls College on their path to the title.
Tocca Falls was the defending nationals champs, having won the title in 2009.
Two Southern Crescent players play for Toccoa Falls, including John Welborn, who went to Luella, and Michael Thorne, who went to Union
The Chargers battled Toccoa Falls one more time on Saturday in the championship game of the double-elimination tournament.
Toccoa briefly took the lead during the third inning, 1-0. But in the top of the fourth, the Chargers scored four runs and never looked back, ultimately winning the game 12-1.
"It was just fun this year," added "Everybody was focused on winning a national championship - that was our goal all along."
"Our players really have to sacrifice and work hard, because they're not getting athletic scholarships," said Dyar, who was named National Coach of the Year, "but we're often playing schools that do give athletic scholarships."