For the first time in program history, the Southeast Community College baseball team earned a spot at the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II World Series.
With a 38-18 record going into the North Plains District Playoffs on May 20, the Storm took two games from 14th-ranked Iowa Central Community College and made it to their first college world series.
Head coach Dion Parks said he couldn't have been more proud of his team's hard work and perseverance.
"It says a lot about our kids, says a lot about the guys who have been here," said Parks, who along with his brother, Tyson, coach the team. "It's a good deal for our school."
The Storm faced Lansing Community College in the opening round of the Division II World Series in Enid, Oklahoma, on May 27, and dropped an 8-4 decision. SCC played Phoenix College in the elimination round on May 28 and started off strong, scoring in seven runs in the third inning, but ended up losing the battle 13-11.
Even though the results weren't what he hoped for, Dion Parks said the overall experience was great for the players and the Storm baseball program.
"The opportunity to represent SCC, Beatrice and the state of Nebraska on the national stage is an honor," Parks said. "We came away with no regrets. Our kids and our coaches gave every ounce of energy they had this year. They have a lot to be proud of, and they accomplished a lot."
Many players stood out during the season, including outfielder and University of Nebraska-Omaha commit Ben Palensky and shortstop and Illinois commit Grant Van Scoy. First baseman Ryan Cornell batted 6-for-9 during the series.
"Our goals are the same every year," Dion Parks said. "Work as hard as we can every day and try to get the most out of our team and each individual player. We want to continue to develop players and help them move on to the highest level."
This is the Storm's ninth year as a baseball program and Parks' seventh year of coaching. He says the program has come a long way.
"When I started here we struggled, and we just kept building it up," he said. "We have a lot of Nebraska kids. We're fortunate there's lots of good baseball here."