The Homeschool World Series Association (HWSA) was formed in April 2000 when a group of homeschool baseball program directors and coaches, including Larry Cochran (Houston, TX) and Jeff Hartline (Nashville, TN), united in the joint effort to plan and organize a national homeschool baseball tournament. Six teams representing six different states competed in the inaugural Homeschool World Series, which was hosted by the Nashville (Middle Tennessee) Monarchs at Lipscomb University in Nashville. The Houston HCYA Eagles took possession of the Championship Cup at the first Homeschool World Series, with the Atlanta Barons as first runner-up. The original member teams were Houston Eagles, Atlanta Barons, Nashville Monarchs, Huntsville Falcons, Virginia Beach Breakers, and Wichita Warriors.
In 2001, the 2nd Annual Homeschool World Series was held in Atlanta, GA and jointly hosted by the Atlanta, GA GGC Barons and the Atlanta South Christian Knights. This year, the addition of a Girls Fast-Pitch Softball World Series was also realized. Eight baseball teams and three softball teams competed. This second annual event saw the Houston, TX Eagles and Atlanta, GA Barons meet once again in the Championship game. This year, the Barons claimed the Championship over the Eagles, and the Houston Lady Eagles triumphed over the Virginia Beach, VA Lady Breakers.
The year 2002 saw the 3rd Annual Baseball-only World Series hosted by the Houston, TX Eagles in San Antonio, TX. Ten (10) baseball teams competed, where the Atlanta, GA Barons, facing the Houston, TX Eagles for the third time in the Championship game, reclaimed the Championship title. Following the World Series, a group of like-minded World Series organizers representing different teams and states formed the HWSA Board and took the next step of incorporating as a non-profit organization formally under the name of the Homeschool World Series Association. Larry Cochran (Austin, TX) was voted in as HWSA’s first board president.
In 2003, the HWSA planned the 4th Annual Homeschool World Series in Niceville, FL (near Ft. Walton Beach). The addition of three Regional Qualifying Tournaments to advance 8 of 15 teams to the Homeschool World Series was made. HWSA also organized a five-team 2nd Annual Homeschool Softball World Series. The Atlanta Barons made a “three-peat” when they beat the Huntsville, AL Falcons in the Championship game. The Virginia Beach Lady Breakers defeated the Atlanta Lady Barons to claim their first softball championship title.
In 2004, a fourth Regional Tournament site was added to accommodate our growing program that now consisted of 20 baseball teams. Two teams from each site advanced to the 5th Annual Homeschool Baseball World Series in Pensacola, FL. The Atlanta, GA GGC Barons claimed their fourth consecutive Championship title after defeating the Dallas, TX Angels in the Championship game. The Virginia Beach, VA Lady Breakers re-claimed the Softball Championship title over the Atlanta, GA Lady Barons as well.
Twenty (20) teams competed in four separate Regional Qualifying Tournaments as in 2004. Two teams from each region advanced to the 6th Annual Homeschool Baseball World Series that took place in Atlanta, GA, due to the sustained hurricane damage in Pensacola, FL. The Dallas, TX HSAA Angels defeated the four-time consecutive World Series Champions, the Atlanta, GA GGC Barons in the Championship game, claiming their first Championship victory in the Homeschool World Series.
Twenty-seven (27) teams competed in four Regional Qualifying Tournaments in April 2006. Two teams from each region advanced to the 7th Annual World Series held on May 21-25 in Pensacola. The Oklahoma City Broncos defeated the Fort Worth Riders in the Championship Game to take home the newly named Cochran Cup—named in honor of Larry and Lori Cochran for their vision in founding the HWSA. At the September board meeting, Chuck Hendricks (Dallas, TX) became the newly elected board president replacing outgoing president Larry Cochran (Austin, TX).
In April 2007, twenty-eight (28) teams from 11 states across the nation competed in two Super‑Regional Qualifying Tournaments in Ft. Worth (West) and Atlanta (East). Four teams from each region advanced to the 8th Annual World Series held on May 21-24th in Pensacola, FL. At the opening ceremony on Monday morning at the PJC field, the teams and families honored fallen American soldier, Ryan Miller, who played for the Houston HCYA Eagles at the 2004 World Series. On Thursday, the Atlanta Barons defeated the West Houston Thunder, 6-0, in the Championship Game to take home the Cochran Cup. In the Third Place Game, the Dallas Angels edged the Oklahoma City Broncos, 4-1.
The 9th Annual HWSA tournament season saw 30 teams from 12 states compete in two Regional Qualifying Tournaments in Dallas (West) and Atlanta (East). Four teams from each region advanced to the World Series held on May 19-22nd in Pensacola, FL. All 18 games were played at Pirate Field on the Pensacola Junior College campus. In the finale, the Atlanta Barons defeated the Oklahoma City Broncos, 8-4, in the Championship Game to take home the Cochran Cup for the 6th time. In the 3rd Place Game, the Augusta Crusaders defeated the Huntsville Falcons.
During the 10th Annual HWSA tournament season, the HWSA leadership announced plans to create one (1) Super World Series tournament in Auburndale, Florida, beginning in the 2010 season. In the last year of the regional format, HWSA saw 31 teams from 11 states compete in two Regional Qualifying Tournaments in Dallas (West) and Cary, NC (East). Four teams from each region advanced to the World Series in Pensacola, FL, in what may prove to be the last HWSA presence in Pensacola. PJC hosted the most exciting games in the World Series 10-year history with many games coming down to the wire. In the finale, the Atlanta Barons defeated the Dallas Angels to take home the Cochran Cup for the 7th time. In the 3rd Place Game, the Richmond Patriots defeated the Concord Stallions.
It was an exciting time for the HWSA, as it moved its 11th Annual HWSA championships to the Orlando, Florida area (Auburndale in Polk County). The inaugural Super World Series tournament, which was open to all varsity home school baseball teams in the nation, saw 23 teams from 10 states compete in three (3) different divisions. In the finale of the Platinum Division, the Atlanta Barons scraped by the Dallas Angels in 9 innings, 7-6, in what many agree was the best game in HWSA history. In the 3rd Place Game, the Augusta Crusaders defeated the Houston Eagles; and in the Gold Division, the Huntsville Falcons took 1st Place over the Spring Mustangs.
The 12th Annual HWSA championship tournament saw an increase to 28 varsity homeschool baseball teams from 13 states for an exciting week in Polk County, Florida at the magnificent Auburndale Lake Myrtle Park baseball complex. The Division III Championship went to the Charlotte Stampede 7-3 over the Houston Thunder. The Huntsville Falcons defeated the Atlanta Barons 7-6 in for the Division II Championship. In Division I, two Texas teams battled in the championship game with the Dallas Angels overcoming the Ft Worth Riders in a dramatic 8-7 come-from-behind, walk-off win to recapture the Cochran Cup for the Angels.
Twenty-seven teams journeyed to Polk County to play in the warm Florida sunshine for the 13th Annual HWSA championship tournament. The Patriots of Richmond Virginia battled the Montgomery Alabama Saints 10-1 for the Division III Title. The Charlotte Stampede trampled the Houston Falcons 11-0 for the Division II Title. The 2013 Cochran Cup was taken home for the first time by the Fort Worth Riders who galloped to victory over the Raleigh Warriors 7-0 for the Division I Title.
25 teams battled wind, rain, lightning and fog, but missed no games due to the unusual weather in slightly-less-than-sunny Auburndale, Florida from April 28 through May 4, in 2013. The Charlotte Stampede trampled the Houston Thunder 9-1 for the Division III Championship. The St. Louis Patriots blew away the Dallas Spartans 12-0 for the Division II Championship. And the Dallas Angels overcame a 7-run onslaught by the Raleigh Warriors in a 9-8 late-inning thriller for the Division I Championship and the right to engrave the Angels’ team name on the Cochran Cup for the third time in HWSA history.
Twenty-four teams gathered in not-so-sunny Auburndale, Florida for the 15th annual Homeschool World Series. Monday through Thursday the competition was fierce including the new “Q-Replay” games where a 1-1 team was required to beat a 2-0 team twice in order to advance to the Division I bracket. On Friday an unusual monsoon descended upon Central Florida forcing the first cancellation of games in HWSA history. Ultimately only the Division I Championship game could be played late Saturday afternoon. But what a game it was. The Memphis Eagles battled the Dallas Angels for seven scoreless innings as two outstanding sophomore pitchers went the distance. The Eagles finally eked out what appeared to be the game-clinching run in the top of the eighth only to see the Angels come back in the bottom of the eighth for a 2-1 walk-off win, sending the Cochran Cup back to Dallas for the 3rd time in 4 years.
Sunnier skies returned to Auburndale in 2015. Twenty-two teams assembled for the 16th annual Homeschool World Series. The Houston Eagles flew 3-1 over the Richmond Patriots for the Division III Championship; the St. Louis Patriots avoided the Charlotte Stampede 2-1 for the Division II Title; and the Dallas Angels heralded a three-peat shutting out the Houston Northside Falcons 4-0 in the exciting Division I Championship Game to take home the Cochran Cup for another year.
The 17th annual tournament found twenty-three teams from ten states in Auburndale and four beautiful new fields at Lake Myrtle Park. In the Division III finals the Nashville Monarchs flew by the Dallas Spartans 9-0; Oklahoma City Broncos busted the Richmond Patriots 12-2 for the Division II Championship; and the Tulsa Jaguars outran the Raleigh Warriors 13-3 in Division I to take home the Cochran Cup.
The 18th HWSA tournament hosted 20 teams back in Auburndale for some fantastic baseball and family fun. It proved to be Houston’s year, with all three divisions going to Houston-area teams (and another finishing as runner-up!) The Houston Thunder took home the Division III championship after winning each game of a 4-team round robin. The Houston Eagles defeated their cross-town rivals the Spring Mustangs 6-2 to earn top honors in Division II. The Houston Northside Falcons won their first ever Cochran Cup with a 4-0 victory over the Oklahoma City Broncos in the Division I finale.
The tourney had a big jump back up to 25 teams for the 19th annual classic. The Atlanta Barons beat the Baltimore Chargers 9-2 to win Division III. The Nashville Monarchs beat the Oklahoma City Broncos 5-3 in the Division II championship. The Fort Worth Riders defeated the Charlotte Stampede in a dramatic 7-5 ballgame to bring the Cochran Cup back to Fort Worth for the first time since their 2012 championship.
The 20th annual tournament saw the ebb and flow of numbers continue, with 19 teams competing in this year’s championship. The Memphis Eagles won both games in the Division III round robin championship. St. Louis won a high-scoring “battle of the Patriots” vs. Richmond 11-7 to claim the Division II title. And for the second year in a row the Charlotte Stampede finished just one step short, losing to the Dallas Angels in the Division I Championship 4-2. The HSAA Angels program took the Cochran cup for the 6th time in their storied history.
Sadly HWSA was forced to cancel the tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the first time since 2000 that there hasn’t been a Homeschool World Series tournament in the spring. With the Tokyo Olympics delayed a year, the NBA and MLB paused 4 months, ours was far from the most publicized cancellation, but for the teams and families who look forward to the event each year, it was still a bitter loss. We pray to see everyone back in 2021.