TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) - The way North Florida Christian ended their 2017 campaign stung a little bit.
"After last year, losing in the Regional Semifinal, we really worked our butts off to get here and we are looking forward to it," said senior third baseman Trent Phillips.
Yes, this group has turned things around. From 17-10, to 23-3, and the play of Trent is a big reason why.
"We're a lot more mature," said head coach Mike Posey of the difference in last year's team to this year's. "His experience level is higher this year than it was last year, but we recognize things a little bit better and we get things done without being told. That's been huge for us."
"We're starving," laughed Trent of the Eagles' hunger to get back to the State Final Four. "We haven't been there in a couple of years and last year leaving early, we were really disappointed. This year, I think we have what it takes to do it."
Trent's doing his part to get the Eagles there. He's batting .342 with 24 RBI, and he's also getting it done in the classroom, balancing a near 3.6 GPA.
"My parents have always kind of made sure I stayed on top of my grades.," he said. "When I come home and I have a bad grade, it's not very good for me. Sometimes you can see a really great student athlete that has the talent, but doesn't have the grades to do something. Being able to do both has been awesome."
"He's a quiet kid. He doesn't say a lot," added coach Posey. "He does everything right, takes care of business, goes to class and gets his work done in the classroom. When he comes out here, he's a leader by example."
A leader who's looking to lead this Eagle's squad back to State.
"It's been a crazy ride. Coming to an end here, it's going to be cray," said Trent. "It'll be sad, but hopefully it'll be good because we'll go out with a State title."
Go out on top, the perfect way, to cap off that senior season.