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Natchez High’s Williams to coach All-Star game

NATCHEZ — In hopes of fielding better teams, many coaches look to expand their horizons and learn new coaching techniques.

In June, Natchez High School baseball coach Charlie Williams will have an opportunity to do just that when he coaches in the Crossroad Diamond Club All-Star Game.

Williams was one of two coaches selected to coach the South team, along with Joey Ward of West Jones High School. The team will consist of All-Stars from classes 4A, 5A and 6A in the South division of the MHSAA.

“We will have some of the top players in the state playing in it. That will allow me to see where my kids stack up, being around that kind of talent,” Williams said.

“It will also allow me to watch how some of the best coaches run their practices, which will maybe help me to better my program. I’ll get to see how to motivate kids with different backgrounds, as far as work ethic is concerned.”

And being given the opportunity is something Williams said he’s very grateful for.

“I don’t want people to take this as my honor by myself. I want to thank my staff, players and everyone involved that afforded me this opportunity to coach in such a prestigious All-Star game,” Williams said.

“This is one of the reason why I tell my players to have good attitudes, and to work and play hard, because you never know who’s watching you.”

When he found out he was nominated to coach in the game in March, Williams said he felt overwhelmed he was being given the chance.

“I’m always figuring you have to have great records and state championships to coach in these games,” Williams said.

“The organization that runs it is a non-profit organization, and a former assistant coach from Forest Hill that I used to coach against is on their board, and he nominated me.”

Despite happily accepting the nomination, Williams said he might have preferred to wait until next year to coach in this game.

“There aren’t any Natchez players that were selected, because you have to be a senior to be nominated, and we only have one senior,” Williams said.

“We only have one senior, Kelli Puckett, and I nominated him, but he wasn’t selected. It’s an honor for me to do this, but it was the wrong year. Next year I’ll have three guys to nominate, but I won’t be a part of the selection process.”

Despite knowing about this opportunity for several months, Williams said he wasn’t comfortable with the news getting out until now.

“I was just keeping it under wraps while our baseball season was going on,” Williams said.

“My staff knew about it, and area coaches knew about it through a newsletter, but I didn’t tell too many other people.”

The game will take place at Trustmark Park in Pearl Saturday, June 5. Both teams will practice June 3 and 4.

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