WALDOBORO — None of the players on the Biddeford Little League 11-and-12 year old baseball team that won the state championship Thursday can remember the last time a Biddeford team won the state tournament.

That was in 2004, when all 13 players were still in diapers.

But that title was won by East Biddeford, and all of the players can still remember when there wasn’t a unified Biddeford Little League.

That was 2012, when 11 of the players started playing little league as nine-year-olds. Some played for East Biddeford, others for West Biddeford.

But on Thursday, at Clyde Sukeforth Memorial Field in Waldoboro, there was only one Biddeford. And for the first time, that one Biddeford was crowned Maine state champion.

“It means everything. We wouldn’t be here without both sides of town coming together,” Biddeford head coach Josh Edgerton said of the merger. “We wouldn’t be in this position.”

The core of the championship group nearly won a state title as a unified Biddeford in the first year after the merger, as 10 of the 13 players were part of the Biddeford nine-and-10 year old team that came to Waldoboro for that age division’s state tournament. They came close to winning the championship, but fell short.

But even though they didn’t complete the mission to win the state championship, that Biddeford club showed that the merger could mean newfound success.

“To take an organization that was very separated, and very cemented in the minds of the people in our town and in our community, and to force them to come together, these boys knew what it was like to be East and West and be divided. And to come together as a town, as a community, and kind of cherish each other, just means the world to me and it means the world to Biddeford,” said Edgerton. “I see nothing but good things that are going to come from that merger, and this shows.”

East Biddeford’s title in 2004 was the first for that organization. West Biddeford won titles in 1982 and 1999. Now Biddeford, as one, can lay claim to being the state’s best ”“ as a whole city.

Edgerton said he thinks 2015 will be just the start of state titles for a unified Biddeford.

“Both sides, even today, have very different philosophies. Great coaching staffs on both sides of town, good individuals on both sides of town,” said Edgerton. “We realized we would do even better together.”

— Sports Staff Writer Wil Kramlich can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 323 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @WilTalkSports.

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