ORLEANSâThis just wasn't Lake Region's year.
The baseball Rangers finished off their season losing 6-3 to Richford on senior day last Thursday, ending 2012 in last place in Division II with a 2-13 record.
But the future looks bright for the team.
Lake Region has a core of young players, as well as some coming up the pipe, which could spark a turnaround in the blue and white's future.
"We had a freshman on the mound today, and there are some great young kids that are coming up, said coach Eric Degre. "This year we just didn't get the bounces, but the youth is there.
"I always try to think positively and get as many positive things out as I can because this is a hard game to play."
As for the game, the Rangers got off to a good start against the Falcons and things were looking promising early.
Freshman Matt Messier got the nod in the finaleÂ´, starting the game strong by striking out the first two batters he saw and getting the third to fly out to Kyle Perry.
Perry in turn got the offense going in the Ranger half, getting on base with a walk. After swiping second and third, Perry came home when Richford pitcher Riley Fuller walked Darik Messier with the bases loaded.
With Sam Barbeau standing at the plate and the count 1-0, the Richford coaching staff had seen enough and brought in Jason Stryker, who stopped the bleeding.
Messier kept dealing in the second, striking out the side in order.
Still 1-0 in the top of the third, the Falcons went ahead 3-1on three singles, a stolen base, and an error.
The score stayed that way until the top of the fifth when the Rangers rallied to tie the game.
Matt Messier, Corey Whitten and Jeremy Dean all singled, with Dean knocking in the two Lake Region runs.
Things stayed knotted at three until the top of the seventh when Mason Farrar drove in a pair, then came around to score the sixth Falcon run of the contest.
The Rangers tried in the seventh to get something going, but Richford held on to win the game and end the Rangersâ season.
Matt Messier went the distance for the Rangers, taking the loss, while Stryker got the win for Richford.
With no play-offs to look forward to, the Ranger seniors that spoke after the game were quiet when reflecting upon about their time with the Rangers.
"I was looking back on all the years here and I feel that I have come from a very good program that has given me a chance to grow up as not only an athlete, but as a man," said Kyle Perry about his athletic career at Lake Region.
Said Darik Messier, "You just want to leave your mark on the program and be remembered for what you did.
"I made a lot of great friends over the years and I will miss playing with them."
Corey Whitten said he just wanted to come out and play hard, and will always remember "the practices, the games and redoing the field."
Said Degre, "Those guys have been a lot of fun. They have a lot of energy and I have seen them grow over the last two seasons that I have had them as a baseball coach.
"I especially enjoyed seeing Corey Whitten come out of his shell and become a leader."
Now it is "wait until next year" time for the Rangers, but you can catch some of their rising stars this summer on a variety of baseball teams when summer ball commences this June