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State championship team celebrates 25 years later
Norman Sain, left, 1992 Pioneer Zac Sain, center, and Lincoln Sain look at old Southern Standard articles about the 1992 state championship win by Warren County Friday at the 25th reunion.

The Roman Empire lasted 507 years, and the United States is now 241 years old, so it was with a ring of truth that almost to a man, the 1992 State Championship Pioneer ring bearers, gathered together for a reunion dinner at Bridgestone Friday night, said the 25 years since has gone by in the wink of an eye.
Never before or since has a boys sports team won a state championship for Warren County High School. The other thing they remember about the 1992 season was they were more like a band of brothers, having grown up together, played together and finally won the state championship the same way … together.
“I watch professional sports, football, baseball and even at the high school level and they have all these tests,” said 1992 championship coach Ronnie Brown. “They have a test for how strong you are, a radar gun, stopwatches, biometrics, tests for bat speeds, but there’s no test for what really matters…how big is your heart?”
The Bruce Springsteen song "Glory Days" accompanied a 20-minute highlight reel of the 1992 team’s path to the championship.
Pioneer Zac Sain remembers how much fan support they received from Warren County.
“It was a long bus ride home,” Sain said. “There were like 2-3 miles of cars accompanying us along the way and into town off the four lane. When we turned down Chancery Street people were lined up both sides as far as you could see cheering us home.”
Many remember the bond that formed as a team, from the tongue lashing they took after losing two games in a double-header to Grundy County during the season, to hanging around Matt Crim’s house after school waiting for practice and watching TV.
“I remember that tongue lashing after the Grundy games,” said catcher Brandon Lowry. When asked if it was an attitude adjustment he answered “Well something got adjusted that’s for sure.”
“We lived by the Civic Center,” said Matt’s father Jimmy Crim. “I would come in and it wouldn’t be unusual for 14 boys to be at our house hanging around together waiting for practice. They used to do things together then. We were selling our house at one point and someone came by to look and I said it was OK if they didn’t mind wading through a ball team in the process.”
Before the multi-media presentation, players and their families had a chance to look at all the old newspaper clippings, a baseball jacket from the game, team jerseys and other rare collectibles that must have gotten the memories working.
“It was a great opportunity to see everyone and it brings back a lot of memories,” said Pioneer J.W. Holt, now the fishing and golfing coach for WCHS. “I remember the comradery we had back then, being around a great group of guys and, of course, the state tournament.”
After the inspirational video, coach Brown spoke again to the team and their families.
“You accomplished something that will stay with you for the rest of your life,” Brown said. “Back in 1992 there was a group of people that were there in Murfreesboro at the game. Now, if I believe everyone who says they were there it would have had to hold 20,000. We as coaches are really proud of them and even more so now that we see what fine men they’ve become, husbands and fathers. We just remembered that if you do the little things right, the big things will take care of themselves.”
Along with the multimedia presentation, a smartphone trivia game was set up with everyone being able to log in with their cellphones to answer trivia questions on the projector which would have results in real time. One trivia question was “What does Charles “Slim” Ingalls (the Pioneers' No. 1 fan) say during the game?”
Most got it right, “Believe in Yourself,” although two thought it was “You can do it” which is something out of an Adam Sandler movie.
Besides having a trivia question named after him, the team took the stage and invited Charles “Slim” Ingalls up. They said they didn’t give him this 25 years ago, but wanted to make it right and presented him with his own championship ring.
“I remember saying what are we doing here, there must be 20 other teams out there better than us,” said one of the team’s coaches and now WCHS executive principal Jimmy Walker. “The other coach said there may be 20 teams out there with some better players, but there are not 20 other better teams. You’re going to win game 2.”
How prophetic those words ended up being.
The 1992 Pioneers are:
Coaches: Ronnie Brown, Jimmy Walker, Bobby Cox
Sophomores: T.J. Christian, Brandon Lowry, Dodd Mullican, Jackie Myers (mgr), Jason Norris, Brandon Smartt, Jeremy Smartt, Brandon Yates
Juniors: Matt Crim, Robbie France, Jason Mullican, Corey Nunley, John Partin (mgr), Brent Whitlock, Trevor Wilson
Seniors: Chad Foster, J.W. Holt, Phillip Miller, Heath “Opie” Morris, George Oleksik, and Zac Sain.