Gladstone relishes state title victory

It has been quite the year on the diamond for teams from Delta County. The Gladstone High School softball team won a state championship in June. Sunday afternoon, another state championship trophy arrived in Gladstone, courtesy of the Indians.

The Gladstone Indians won the 2014 American Legion Class ‘A’ state championship, with a 4–0 victory over rival Escanaba on Saturday. Gladstone did not allow a single run in any of their three victories. It was the first state title victory for the Indians in the history of the program.

“To go down there (Gladwin) and not allow a single run… Our pitching was phenomenal, are defense was phenomenal, and the hitting came around at the right time. Everything just gelled, it was fabulous. We have the toughest zone (The U.P. Zone Tournament) of anywhere in the state. To get through this zone (tournament) is huge. Luckily enough the brackets (for the state tournament) were drawn out this year correctly where we could get the bye. Anytime you can eliminate that one extra game and saves some arms definitely came to our advantage,” said Indians manager Jim Groleau.

“We knew we had a big goal. We knew we had some unfinished business. Jim has been coaching me my whole life and we never quite made it to the championship (game), so it was great to finally happen,” said Indians pitcher Sam Pouliot.

“It’s been our goal the entire season. We had a lot of unfinished business like Sam (Pouliot) said. This was the year to do it. We had the best team possible that we could have ever asked for,” said Indians infielder Christian Tackman.

“A lot of these guys I’ve been playing ball with since I was 8, 9–years–old. To finally get it done with this group of guys, like I said before the tournament, nobody deserves it more than this group and it’s great that we got it done,” said Indians outfielder Christian Groleau.

Following the win, manager Jim Groleau announced his retirement from coaching. He coached the Indians the last four seasons. Groleau will stay with the team behind the scenes in the front office.