WHITESBORO — Curt Cole has been at Whitesboro long enough to know when a team is worthy of what his latest group just pulled off.

In Cole’s 13th season as Whitesboro’s head coach, the Bearcats went 28-9 and made the 3A state semifinals despite finishing third in the 9-3A standings.

Before the postseason, Whitesboro had only one playoff victory in the last decade, coming in the first round a year ago.

When the Bearcats made the region quarterfinals, it was the first time since 2007 — which prior to this season was the best year in school history.

So Whitesboro was already in uncharted territory entering the fourth round. Sweeps of New Diana and Beckville, last year’s 2A runner-up, had the Bearcats at the state tournament before losing to eventual champ Central Heights.

Coming off such a successful year, Cole has been named the Herald Democrat All-Texomaland Baseball Coach of the Year for the 2017 season.