The feast will have a simple menu with substitutions not allowed.
The Trinity baseball team, on the heels of a second straight Class 3A championship after Friday’s 8-0 win over Mars Hill Bible, will sit down for a celebratory dinner soon. Details of when and where are to be worked out, but what will be served is already certain.
Saltine crackers and peanut butter, in tribute to 33-year coach Ken Whittle, will never taste better,
“Oh, yes, we’re definitely going to eat his crackers,” pitcher Allen Wood said. “Absolutely.”
Wood, for a second straight year, threw a two-hitter in the title-sealing victory and the Wildcats (33-8) started formulating big plans.
Whittle, who has a 635-217 record and five state championships, is on a restrictive diet. He suffered a mild stroke during last year’s championship run.
Saltine crackers slathered in peanut butter has been one of Whittle’s staples and a target of his players.
“It’s not the best, but I guess I’ll eat it,” said second baseman Trace Johnston, who had two RBIs and scored twice Friday. “He brings them to practice all the time, and we might steal a few every once in a while without him knowing.”
The worst culprit, the Wildcats claim, is Wood (9-1), though he might be excused. The right-hander, a combined 19-1 the last two seasons, had just three batters reach base off him Friday.
“He’s not the fastest pitcher, but he’s definitely one of the best,” shortstop Robert Adams said. “He’s so serious when he gets on the mound, which is totally opposite from practice.
“He’s the one who usually takes Coach Whittle’s food.”
Trinity almost could start thinking about its celebration early.
Brock Stevens’ two-run triple highlighted a four-run sixth inning that gave the Wildcats an eight-run lead. Stevens finished with three RBIs.
Mars Hill (32-19), which won the Class 2A title last year, went meekly in the seventh.
Trinity started its party in virtually the same spot as last year — just in front of the mound after Wood flung his glove as high as he could — with Wildcats soon stacked high on top of each other.
“I was the second one from the bottom, so I was getting pretty crushed,” Adams said. “It was great. I just closed my eyes and held my breath because I couldn’t breathe.”
Trinity’s water coolers went undisturbed.
“I guess we forgot,” Wood said.
Last year, the Wildcats savagely doused their assistant coaches. They spared Whittle, who suffered a mild stroke early in the playoffs. This year, Whittle escaped again.
“My body gets cold these days, so it’s good they didn’t do that,” Whittle said. “I’m just proud and excited for these guys to have this opportunity.
“We’re going to go out, have a good time and really enjoy it. We’ll have a party.”