Winning state title is a family affair
Krahling, Hanks siblings lead La Plata to baseball, softball state titles
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.”
La Plata freshman second baseman Ava Krahling helped lead the softball team to the Class 2A state title this spring.
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.
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.
La Plata junior second baseman and pitcher Jake Hanks guided the baseball team to the Class 2A state championship this spring.