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New name, same dominance: Jackson-Reed wins DCIAA baseball title

The Tigers hoisted the DCIAA trophy for the first time under their new school name: Jackson-Reed. (Craig Hudson/For the Washington Post)

For the 28th consecutive year, the high school off Nebraska Avenue NW captured the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association baseball championship. But Thursday’s 11-1 win over School Without Walls was different.

Just ask senior Elias Rosario.

The school, formerly Woodrow Wilson, is now Jackson-Reed. Its sports teams remain the Tigers, and these Tigers continued the school’s long history of baseball dominance, even if they did raise their first baseball trophy under a new school name.

The name change, which honors the first Black principal (Vincent Reed) and Black teacher (Edna Jackson) in school history, was approved in December and became official in March.

“It’s very special,” Rosario said. “I feel better known as Jackson-Reed. Having a clean new start and it’s amazing being a part of it and bringing that name up a little bit.”

Rosario was key to the Tigers adding to their trophy collection. He homered, doubled and hit a bases-clearing triple against the Penguins (17-4-1).

The Tigers (22-9) also got strong starting pitching from Georgetown commit Kai Leckszas, who worked four hitless innings against and struck out seven. Leckszas also homered in the second inning en route to winning MVP honors.

The title was the first under Coach Henry Martinez, who took over in August after four years on the staffs of the school’s baseball and basketball programs. Martinez is a former player for the Tigers.

Although Martinez said he will still hold his time as a Tiger close, the magnitude of the victory was not lost.

“I’m sad that we’re losing the curly ‘W’,” Martinez said. “But it means a lot for the community. … Putting intention and exposing a lot of things that were taking place, it means a lot for us to win our first championship as the Jackson-Reed Tigers.”

After fighting through adversity early in the season — including eight straight non-conference losses — the next step for Jackson-Reed is the D.C. State Athletic Association tournament. The Tigers have made it to four consecutive DCSAA title games but have won the tournament just once, in 2018.

“We’ve got all the talent and skill to be able to do the same thing in that [tournament],” Leckszas said.