Twenty years ago, Coach Bryan Bowen and his Cullman Bearcat baseball team started the season with one goal. A goal that had never happened in Cullman baseball history. The team wanted an AHSAA Class 5A State Championship. As the season progressed to the playoffs, fans realized this goal could be a reality.

In the 1st round of the playoffs, the Bearcats defeated Jacksonville 3-1, followed by beating Briarwood Christian 6-5 in the 2nd round. The first and second rounds were single eliminations, but the road ahead was about to get more complicated as Cullman would face Walker in the 3rd round double-elimination series. The Cats upended the Vikings 5-1 and 6-2 to move to the 4th round, where they would battle Mortimer Jordan. The Blue Devils had the talent, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Bearcats from their ultimate goal. The Cats defeated Jordan 6-1 and 1-0 to send the Cullman Bearcats to the AHSAA State Finals to face Stanhope Elmore from Millbrook, Alabama. Again, the Mustang packed a punch, and the Cats knew they were in for a battle. Nothing, and I mean nothing, was going to get in the way of that state championship trophy for the Cats. The Cullman Bearcats defeated the Mustangs 3-2 and 5-3 to become the Class 5A AHSAA State Champions for the first time in school history.

On Tuesday, March 22, the 2002 State Championship baseball team will be recognized at Cullman High School during the Cullman vs. Golden, Colorado game. The game is set for the first pitch at 5:00 P.M.

The 2002 AHSAA State Championship roster:

8 Matt Dellinger (SR)

33 Todd Graveman (SR)

9 Austin Hall (SR)

19 Adam Harrison (SR)

30 A.J. Johnson (SR)

26 Robbie Laney (SR)

16 Whit Rice (SR)

18 Joey Shear (SR)

31 Matt White (SR)

14 Skyler Chamblee (JR)

5 Josh Goodwin (JR)

20 Josh Phillips (JR)

7 Michael Rutledge (JR)

32 Whit Ford (SO)

21 Tyler Hearin (SO)

35 Clay Whittemore (SO)

1 Brandon Lee (SO)

29 Jonathan Neely (SO)

12 Chase Oliver (SO)