Green Wave run on motivation

Published 12:35 am Sunday, May 2, 2010

Motivation can be a very powerful thing.

Just as the Cathedral Green Wave baseball team.

While most team’s motivation this time of year is to get to Trustmark Park in Pearl and play for the state championship, Cathedral’s is much more personal than that.

They just want to see their friend and teammate Dylan White get the chance to play high school baseball again.

White, a senior pitcher and second baseman, suffered a skull fracture during a head-on collision with teammate Daniel Huffines in a game on April 21.

White has a chance to play again, but it won’t be for at least several more weeks, which means Cathedral must keep winning games and advancing through the playoffs.

And if Friday’s opening game was any indication, the Green Wave players are going to give it their best shot.

With White in the dugout for the first time since his injury, Cathedral played perhaps its best game since it swept St. Aloysius in a two-game series on March 30 and April 1.

Cathedral coach Craig Beesley had talked about other players stepping up to fill the void left by White, the team’s No. 1 starting pitcher and second batter in the order.

And with White looking on, the team did just that.

New No. 1 starter Aaron White pitched well, allowing just two runs on six hits in picking up the win.

And the bottom of the order collected eight of the team’s 12 hits and drove in seven of the team’s 12 runs in the victory.

I know it was just one game, and Cathedral has to win five more if they want to give White the chance to play in the state championship series, but it was a good start.

But the real test for the Green Wave won’t come until Game 2 of the series on Monday, when pitchers Tyler Morrison and Cole Mann will fill in the slot that Aaron White vacated when he moved up to the No. 1 starter’s role.

There wasn’t much difference in Dylan and Aaron White on the mound. They are both good starting pitchers who give the Green Wave lots of innings and throw strikes.

But Morrison and Mann are the wild cards. Beesley has all the confidence in the world in the two of them, and Morrison did pitch well in a 4-3 loss to Natchez High last weekend.

But it will be a new situation for them both, and it will take the entire team rallying behind them to give them the confidence to succeed and help get the Green Wave back to the state title series.

But I have no doubt that’s exactly what is going to happen. The players on this Green Wave team are as close as ever and are on a mission.

I would imagine that there isn’t another team in Class 1A that is playing with the same purpose and singular drive that Cathedral has.

Sure, they all want to win a state championship. But the Green Wave are playing for something more than just a trophy.

And the bonds of friendship are much stronger than the desire of a shiny championship ring.

Jeff Edwards is the sports editor for The Democrat. He can be reached at sports@natchezdemocrat.com, or by phone at 601-445-3632.