Locals selected for State Games baseball team

Published 12:10 am Friday, June 6, 2008

WESSON — After collecting the bronze medal in last year’s State Games of Mississippi High School Baseball All-Star tournament, the 2008 version has been selected after a five-hour tryout at Co-Lin’s Sullivan Field to represent the District 7 Southwest Mississippi team.

The tournament runs June 25-29 at Meridian Community College, and is double-elimination.

Sixty-six rising juniors and seniors from the southwest Mississippi area particpated in the tryout, which consisted of infield and outfield drills, batting practice, pitching and catching drills, and 60-yard dash sprints.

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Franklin County’s DeHendret Collins turned in the fastest 60-yard dash time with a 6.56, while a number of pitchers lit up the radar gun, displaying there best pitches from fastballs to breaking balls.

Ryan Kennedy a rising senior from Enterprise, was one of eight repeat selections from last year’s team to make this year’s squad. Kennedy, a southpaw pitcher, beat the Northeast Mississippi District 4 in last year’s games pitching five scoreless innings.

Sluggers Kolby Byrd of Brookhaven Academy and Tyler Reeves of Lawrence County also were repeat selections. Both Byrd and Reeves homered in the 2007 State Games.

This year’s 18-player field will consist of the following All-Star’s representing this area: Preston Edwards (RHP) Cathedral, Jordan Hunt (OF/RHP) Franklin County, DeHendret Collins (OF/LHP) Franklin County, Ryan Kennedy (LHP) Enterprise, Kolby Byrd (catcher) Brookhaven Academy, Will Gatlin (1B) Brookhaven Academy, Brett Rushing (INF/OF) West Lincoln, Drew Weaver (RHP) Loyd Star, Ben Slaton (Catcher) McComb, Zach Rowell (RHP) McComb, Tyler Reeves (OF/RHP) Lawrence County, Willie Buckley (RHP) Lawrence County, Kyle Adams (INF) Parklane, Josh Armstreet (OF) Parklane, Shelby Johnson (RHP) Parklane, Nick Helmstetter (OF/RHP) Brookhaven, Bud Britt (INF/RHP) Broohaven, and Mike Peters (RHP) East Marion.

Coaching this year’s team will be new Franklin County head baseball coach Brent Calcote and South Pike head baseball coach Jason Cooksey.