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Players douse St. Joseph Mustangs manager Matt Johnson with Gatorade after a win to clinch the 2012 MINK League North Division title.

St. Joseph Mustangs manager Matt Johnson announced on Wednesday that he would not be returning next season.

When the players heard the news, they decided that they wanted to send him out with another MINK League championship.

“Going out on top, nothing else competes with that anymore with him being done after this year,” Mustangs catcher Brady Anderson said. “I think it’s just something that we have to do.”

The team accomplished that mission Thursday by beating the Sedalia Bombers 11-0 to advance to the MINK League championship series. Johnson wasn’t ready for his final season to be over either.

“Just to be able to hold onto as many games as we possibly can to extend the season for a few more days so I can be with these guys and my family to be with them as well,” Johnson said.

Over his nine seasons as Mustangs manager, Johnson has developed relationships with many people. Not just players but coaches, fans, host families and more. Those are what he’s going to miss the most when he starts his next chapter.

“My family being able to be with everyone here it’s something that is very special,” Johnson said. “I don’t think a lot of people realize what goes into it, but I’ve been very beneficial to everything that comes out of it with every relationship that I’ve had with every single player since 2009.”

The Mustangs will return home to Phil Welch on Sunday for Game 2 of the MINK championship series.

John Zetmeir can be reached at john.zetmeir@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NPNowZetmeir.