Eagleville and Riverdale had the most successful baseball teams in their respective program’s history in 2012.
Today, their coaches — Travis Moore at Eagleville and Barry Messer at Riverdale — are recognized as The Daily News Journal’s Baseball Co-Coaches of the Year.
Both head coaches led their teams to the BlueCross Spring Fling in May.
Moore led Eagleville to its third consecutive Class A state tournament and led the Eagles to a Class A state runner-up. Messer led Riverdale to the Class AAA state tournament Final Four.
“I knew this team could be special,” said Moore, who resigned from Eagleville after the season to be an assistant at Tullahoma. “We had three really good starters that could win us a ballgame.
“They got better and better as the year went on. I knew they could do better than the two previous years before.”
Both coaches were blessed with a deep roster of experienced seniors.
Five of those Riverdale seniors — Jonathan King (Georgia Tech), Taylor Walker (Jackson State), Ronnie Stephens (Columbia State), Austin Swayze (Chattanooga State), and Trevor May (Maryville College) — sign to play in college.
A sixth, Thomas Bradey, is expected to sign at either Trevecca or Columbia state.
Eagleville also had five seniors — Bryan and Cameron Boyett (Trevecca), Jake McDougal (Columbia State), Austin Wilson (Cumberland) and Ryan Hammonds (Martin Methodist) — have signed.
David Morton is also attempting to sign.
“I’d say anytime you have 10 seniors that is a good ingredient for success,” Messer said. “It’s not always like that. I’ve seen some teams out there prove that. But when you have the right mix of people together at the right time good things can happen.”
Riverdale won the District 7-AAA regular season and tournament. The Warriors also won the Region 4-AAA tournament. Riverdale eliminated Mt. Juliet in the state tournament for the Warriors’ first state tournament win. That same day the Warriors ended four-time defending state champion Farragut’s season.
“A lot of people would like to be able to say they put out Mt. Juliet and Farragut out of the state tournament on the same day,” Messer said.
Eagleville advanced past the second day of the Class A state tourament for the first time in three tries en route to reaching the championship game.
“I definitely feel like it was a big relief once we got past that game,” Moore said. “They guys relaxed and played baseball after that. That was huge winning that second day.”