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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Fort Smith Sportsman claim American Legion state title

Team captures first state championship since 2004

SHERIDAN, Ark. — For the first time in 16 seasons, the Fort Smith Sportsman can call themselves the Arkansas American Legion state champions.

The squad has been one of the best in the state essentially every summer in recent history but the title had eluded them. That changed on Tuesday night with a 4-2 win over Russellville in a winner take all game. The two teams split earlier in the tournament.

"You know it’s all about the kids and the team and them succeeding but we put a lot of time and effort into running this program," Sportsman coach Trey Prieur said. "Providing an opportunity for our kids to play at a high level of baseball. To see all this come together, to see all this happen for our community, for our region. I received so many phone calls today telling me good luck that played years ago that remember winning their state championship and to bring it back to the Fort Smith area is just something special. It means a lot to me."