Good Sports: Clovis/Buchanan baseball rivals

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Take a look at their outfield walls and the proof is pudding. These teams are good, really good. (KFSN)

It's easy to see why both the Clovis and Buchanan High baseball teams are good.

Take a look at their outfield walls and the proof is pudding. These teams are good, really good.

"If it wasn't for Buchanan it wouldn't be as fun," Clovis baseball head coach James Patrick said. "You have to have a rival."

Both of the Clovis and Buchanan baseball programs have been battling it out for years, Not only the league level but for section titles. Even national rankings, the teams are rivals and it all starts with the skippers.

"Coach Donald and his coaching staff do a tremendous job preparing those kids to play," Patrick said. "They play winning baseball from 9th grade on to 12th grade."

"That salty dog gets better every year," Buchanan baseball coach Tom Donald said. "Just when you think he's going to hang them up he looks 20 years younger and he's back at it again. James has really done a lot for baseball in this area, and I tip my hat to him in a lot of ways."

Even though Buchanan opened it's doors more than 90-plus years after Clovis High was founded in 1899, a healthy rivalry quickly developed.

"When the school first started, we were the new kids on the block, had a chip on our shoulder and that has carried throughout the school's history," Donald said.

It's the history and tradition of both of these programs that has set the standard for this year's teams.

"To keep the Clovis High tradition alive is very important to me and the entire team because we hate losing," Clovis High catcher Jace Tietjen said.

"I mean you can see the balls behind us," Buchanan pitcher Grant Gambrell. "We have a lot tradition, and we strive for excellence so it's awesome to put on these colors."

"They want to be a team that left their mark and we'll look at some of the championship balls that are set up in the outfield or the program or wherever they might be and they want to leave some championship balls in the outfield as well," Donald said.

"We tell them that their job is to uphold this tradition that other guys have put in place for them," Patrick said. "Yeah, it is important they do want to be a part of that they would like to achieve as well as some of the team's of the past."
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