Alamosa coach Jason Romero came close to winning a Class 3A Intermountain League baseball title once. But he was a young coach and his temper got the best of him in a crucial game against Bayfield.
"My first year in 3A, we were going to win," Romero said. "I ended up getting tossed in the first inning of the game. They suspended the game and gave the first one to Bayfield because they said I didn't leave in a timely manner."
According to Romero, the Maroons finished third that year. Since then, he has been determined to win a league championship, something Alamosa hadn't done since 1990.
This year, he finally accomplished that feat.
The team has had success on the diamond, but a league championship just felt elusive and was something that Romero and his players have wanted over the years.
"It's been my mission to win a league championship," he said. "The year we went to state, we took second in (league) but got to state ahead of Bayfield and that felt good."
This year, his guys put together a solid effort on the diamond and got the result they so badly wanted.
Two seniors in Tyler Zimmerman and Chance Strand led the way both at the plate and on the mound. Both kids batted over .430 for the season and drove in at least 13 runs.
"Tyler was a third- or fourth-string kid coming out of middle school," Romero said. "He put in the work and bought into the program."
A good chunk of the production for the team also came from a deep junior class. This is a group of kids that participated in Alamosa's summer program and developed into a team that came into the last week of this regular season as the No. 10 team in the 3A baseball rankings.
"The bulk of those juniors I've had since seventh-grade," Romero said. "They all bought into the philosophy and it was huge."
The Maroons concluded league play with a sweep over Montezuma-Cortez on Saturday. They went undefeated in Intermountain League play and drawing on the past, Romero remained calm in order to avoid a repeat of what had happened just a few years earlier.
"I was a young coach then, just in my third season," Romero said. "I've learned to handle the umpires a little more carefully."