Local player, coach chosen for All-Star battle
By By Marty Stamper/EMG sports assistant
June 14, 2003
One area baseball player and one area coach have been chosen for the second-annual MPSA-MHSAA Challenge, which will be played at Smith-Wills Stadium in Jackson tonight at 6.
In last year's inaugural event, the MHSAA won both the small school and big school games. This year, only one contest will be played.
Eighteen players from the Crossroad Diamond Club's two MHSAA all-star games at USM last week and 18 players from the MPSA All-Star Games held earlier at Smith-Wills were chosen for tonight's event.
Union pitcher/outfielder/shortstop Jody Blount was chosen for the MHSAA team after going 3-for-3 in last week's Class 1A-2A-3A game at Hattiesburg. He was 7-3 on the mound for the Class 1A South State runner-up Yellowjackets this spring.
Also on the MHSAA team is Quitman head coach Brett Rigby.
Completing the public schools roster are Turner Barnes of Oxford, Jon Still and Travis Bogue of Madison Central, Trey Cuevas of Class 5A state champion Oak Grove, Brett Hoeflich and Patrick Ezell of Petal, Ricky Owens of Purvis, Jeffrey Rea of Nettleton, Justin Henry of Vicksburg, Richard Imhoff and Justin Pigott of Class 4A state runner-up Picayune, Josh Johnson of Caledonia, Daniel Stevens of Ackerman, Gregory Alexander of Hattiesburg, Todd Johnson of Provine, T. Mac Howard of Class 5A state runner-up Northwest Rankin, and Jesse Carver of Starkville.
Other MHSAA coaches are Hayden Cox of Vancleave, Robert Gordon of Myrtle, and Lee Berryhill of Class 2A state champion Eupora.
One of the players missing from the MHSAA roster is Eupora pitcher Cliff Davis, the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year. A high major league draft choice and an Alabama football signee, Davis reportedly failed to bring his glove to the small school MHSAA game at Hattiesburg.
No area players were chosen to the MPSA team. On the private schools roster are Thomas Flautt of Jackson Academy, Nick Crawford of Washington School, Josh Irvin and John Hoggard of Magnolia Heights, Wally Cummins of Madison-Ridgeland Academy, Patrick Williams of Copiah Academy, Wes Burleson and Brett Jones of Class AAA state runner-up Hillcrest Christian School, Warren Bowling of Class AAA state champion Jackson Prep, Rusty Rayborn and Reg Ott of Parklane Academy, Matthew Rozier of Carroll Academy, Will Miller of Class AA state runner-up Oak Hill Academy, Brett Boykin of Deer Creek School, Drew Embry of Class A state champion Porter's Chapel School, Jeremy Perkins of Amite School Center, Josh Morrison of Class AA state champion Prairie View Academy, and Boycee Varnes of Simpson County Academy.
MPSA coaches are Randy Palmer of MRA, Trey Pace of Jackson Academy, Parker Harris of Oak Hill, Marcus Canoy of University Christian School, and Joe Bradshaw of Strider Academy.