Millennium Sunday wins its 1st state title at the ASA of PA Class "E" State Championship in Drifton
Over the years, many Millennium Sunday League teams have made their way to other parts of Pennsylvania trying to win a state championship.
And every time they came home empty-handed.
Last year, Barnaby's of Ridley/Danese Softball made a magical run to the Class E State championship, only to come up just short, in the tournament finals.
That second-place finish though got the Millennium Sunday League onto the doorstep.
In 2016, the door was finally kicked down.
After years of struggle, or watching teams from elsewhere in District 6 win state crowns, three Millennium Sunday squads made a hard push at the 2016 title, reaching the final seven teams, but only one went through the bracket unscathed and took home the title of state champions - Applegate Softball.
From its first game Saturday afternoon to their last In the waning hours of Sunday afternoon, Applegate was focused on one thing - winning the title.
And as each opponent lined up against them, Applegate used surgical precision to dispatch them.
Great defense and a strong lineup will do that for you.
There were many good teams in Drifton this year, but none as complete as Applegate.
They went 6-0, beating the Hawks from Gap for a second time in the championship game to finally give Millennium Sunday its first title.
The Hawks defeated Union Station to reach the finals. Union Station, from District 2, had previously knocked out the other two Millennium Sunday teams who made great runs - Stinger's Restaurant and Bar and Double Edge Sports Grille.
Stingers went 5-2 and finished fourth, while Double Edge went 4-2 and finished seventh in the tournament.
Nevertheless for one league to put three teams in the top seven in the state is pretty remarkable.
Combined, the three teams were 15-4, against some of the best Class E teams in the state.
And that's the key point. The Millennium Sunday League went through a rebirth of sorts in recent years, transforming from a Class D/E league to being a true Class E league.
In the process, the league took some knocks for not being as competitive as it could be, but the performance by these three teams this weekend may show that those grumblings are quite false.
If nothing else, the three teams showed that not only is the Millennium Sunday League arguably the best Class E Sunday League in the state, but they also showed that while they play hard, they have nothing but great respect for the game and great camaraderie with one another, frequently checking in with each other to see how each team was doing, and when they weren't playing at the same time - which was often the case - sitting there rooting each other on to victory.
All three teams deserve kudos for a great tournament. Their coaches and players deserve applause for representing the district, the county and specifically the Millennium Sunday League, as well as they possibly could being gracious both in victory and defeat.
But most importantly, Applegate deserves a standing ovation for being the team who finally broke through the wall that stood firm in front of the Millennium Sunday League for 19 years.