Win­ning state ti­tle is a fam­ily af­fair

Krahling, Hanks sib­lings lead La Plata to base­ball, soft­ball state ti­tles

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

They were a part of two teams that reigned supreme over the state this past spring. And, they have a deeper con­nec­tion than just be­ing team­mates, too.

For the Hanks and Krahling fam­i­lies there has been much to cel­e­brate of late.

The brother-sis­ter tandems of Quinn and Ava Krahling and Jake and Kelsey Hanks com­bined to help the La Plata War­riors base­ball and soft­ball teams win re­spec­tive Class 2A state championships.

Dave Krahling, the head coach of the soft­ball team and fa­ther of Quinn and Ava, led the War­riors to a 9-1 over Ca­toctin of Fred­er­ick County for the state crown, the first soft­ball ti­tle in school his­tory.

“It was an honor to see them both win. They worked hard and stayed fo­cused the whole time,” Dave Krahling said. “It pays off to con­tinue play­ing the sport you love af­ter the high school sea­son is over. I don’t be­lieve it has to set­tle in to what both achieved.”

Mike Hanks, who as­sisted Dave Krahling on the soft­ball team is the fa­ther of Jake and Kelsey.

“There is no bet­ter fam­ily to be in­volved with than the Krahlings,” said Mike Hanks. “We spend so much time to­gether at the fields on week­ends, it makes a dif­fer­ence to be around great friends. When you win a cham­pi­onship like our fam­i­lies did it, makes all the hard work worth it.”

Jake Hanks, who played sec­ond base and pitched as a ju­nior un­der head base­ball coach John Childers, is still re­flect­ing on a mem­o­rable sea­son of cap­tur­ing the state ti­tle with a 4-1 over Wash­ing­ton County’s

Wil­liamsport at Rip­ken Sta­dium in Aberdeen.

“Hon­estly it was ver y ner ve-wrack­ing be­fore the sea­son started be­cause we didn’t know how far we were go­ing to go,” said Hanks, an All-South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence and All-County first­team se­lec­tion this spring, lead­ing the War­riors to a 22-2 over­all record on the sea­son. “We built up a lot of con­fi­dence for the sea­son and we had good lead­ers on the team. We just didn’t take any­thing for granted. It was great to see my dad and sis­ter win states for soft­ball, too.”

Kelsey, who was a fresh­man this sea­son and played at first base on the soft­ball squad, said that there is al­ways a bit of sib­ling rivalry, but she and Jake al­ways rooted for each other.

“We have been work­ing so hard year round and we are very com­pet­i­tive we push each other,” she said. “Dur­ing the sea­son I al­ways had states on my mind, but I never would’ve thought that me and my brother would win state ti­tles in the same sea­son. It’s just crazy how it all worked out.”

Quinn Krahling, who was a ju­nior first base­man on the base­ball team, knows that it was an in­cred­i­ble sea­son to play ball and watch the suc­cess of sib­lings end the sea­son by win­ning the state crown, some­thing that ev­ery­one plays for all year long.

“I had it in my mind that it could be done,” he said on both teams win­ning it all. “Me and my sis­ter al­ways wish each other the best. She is a good ball player and she is good at what she does. It was fun to see all of us win. Not ev­ery­one gets to play for a state ti­tle, yet alone win one, so this is some­thing that I will never for­get.”

The Hanks and Krahlings aren’t just con­nected through high school ball, but also through travel ball as Jake and Quinn play for the Hugh­esville Orioles and Ava and Kelsey play on the Lady Orioles for soft­ball. Dave and Mike are coaches on both the travel teams.

“Our fam­i­lies prac­ti­cally grew up to­gether and are re­ally close,” Jake Hanks said. “We spend a lot of time to­gether even in the sum­mer for our travel teams. We go on long rides to­gether dur­ing the tour­na­ments and it is just fun. When­ever me and Quinn are not play­ing we go to watch our sis­ters play at the soft­ball games.”

It is nat­u­ral for sib­lings to rib each other, but the bond be­tween these sib­lings is just in­sep­a­ra­ble.

“Me and Kelsey are al­ways in the back­yard, throw­ing, catch­ing and toss­ing the fris­bee,” Jake said. “I’m just glad we were able to con­trib­ute to our teams this year and help put La Plata on the map.”

Ava Krahling, a sec­ond base­man, and she and Kelsey had sim­i­lar feel­ings of nerves be­fore the sea­son started.

“It was pretty cool spe­cial to win a state ti­tle, me and Kelsey are real close and hav­ing her on the team has been so much fun,” Ava Krahling said. “I’m look­ing for­ward to play­ing with her for three more years.”

Hec­tic months like this aren’t just a cel­e­bra­tion of the work that the sib­lings have put in, but they are a re­minder of all the sup­port their par­ents have given them over the years.

“My dad and Coach Krahling spends so much time with us in the sum­mer and has done a great job,” Jake Hanks said. “The high school sea­son was just bit­ter­sweet.”

PHOTO BY TINA GRAY

La Plata fresh­man sec­ond base­man Ava Krahling helped lead the soft­ball team to the Class 2A state ti­tle this spring.

PHOTO BY TINA GRAY

La Plata ju­nior first base­man Quinn Krahling helped lead the base­ball team to the Class 2A state cham­pi­onship, while his sis­ter Ava was on the state cham­pi­onship team for soft­ball.

PHOTO BY TINA GRAY

La Plata fresh­man first base­man Kelsey Hanks helped lead the soft­ball team to the Class 2A state cham­pi­onship, while her brother Jake was a state cham­pion on the base­ball team.

PHOTO BY TINA GRAY

La Plata ju­nior sec­ond base­man and pitcher Jake Hanks guided the base­ball team to the Class 2A state cham­pi­onship this spring.

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