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franklin county times

Knights lay claim to title best in state'

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
May 15, 2001
INDEPENDENCE West Lauderdale captured the 2001 Class 3A state baseball championship with a 3-0 win over Independence in the third game of their best-of-three series Monday night.
Not only did the win give the Knights the state championship, it allowed them to lay claim to being Mississippi's all-time winningest high school baseball program.
The state championship was the 10th for the Knights, one more than now-defunct Central High School in Jackson had.
While the Central Tigers did their damage from 1946-69, the Knights have wreaked havoc from 1978-2001 under Mississippi's second-winningest baseball coach, the legendary Jerry Boatner.
Boatner has been around for all 10 Knight state titles. Harry Breland of Oak Grove has six for the second-highest total.
West also won state championships in 1978, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, and 2000.
You get the feeling it won't be the last.
Boatner also led the Lady Knights to the Class 3A slow-pitch softball championship in the fall.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at mstamper@themeridianstar.com.