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Goza, Brister plan future with Co-Lin

WESSON – The 2003 baseball season is a year away butCopiah-Lincoln Community College baseball coach Keith Case alreadyis planning for the future. Case has signed two more high schoolstandouts for the 2003 campaign, first baseman Ben Goza ofBrookhaven and pitcher Cass Brister of Loyd Star.

Already secured in the Wolves’ den is outfielder JeffreyWaycaster of Brookhaven Academy. Bogue Chitto pitcher Jacob Leggettis scheduled to sign with Co-Lin Wednesday.

Goza, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior, batted .335 last season andwas named to The Daily Leader’s All-Lincoln County BaseballTeam for a second straight year. He hit 2 home runs after a 3-homereffort as a sophomore.

Goza bats right and throws right.

“I’m looking forward to Co-Lin,” said Goza. “They have agood program and Coach Case is a nice guy.”

Brookhaven head coach Randy Spring said Goza has a brightfuture with the Wolves. “Ben has a chance to be a big-time collegeplayer. He’s got a big body and a strong swing. He has worked hardto improve his speed and strength. He has done a lot of extra workon his own and has become a better all-around athlete.”

In the classroom, Goza is an honor roll student andmaintains a 3.9 GPA. He said he may enter a premed course of studyat Co-Lin.

“Coach Spring has done a good job getting me ready to playat Co-Lin,” said Goza.

Case said Goza has a powerful swing. “Ben swings the batwith authority. He has a lot of power.

“Ben has worked extremely hard to get his body in greatshape,” Case continued. “Everybody talks about his bat but he is avery good defensive player. He has a chance to play first base forus every day.”

Brister (6-4, 180) is a right-handed hurler. As a junior, hecompiled a 5-3 record as the Hornets finished 14-13 under formerhead baseball coach Anthony Hart. In football, Brister took over atquarterback midway through the season and passed for over 700yards, helping lead the Hornets to the South State Class 2Achampionship game.

Brister is a DL All-County selection in football andbaseball.

“It’s an honor to get to play for Co-Lin,” said Brister.”Coach Case and (assistant Pete) Coach Young have been real good tohelp me with my pitching.”

An honor roll student, Brister said he wants to coach andteach history after graduating from college.

Case said he was excited about having Brister sign withCo-Lin. “We are excited about getting Cass. We are looking for someplayers who have the potential to become top qualitypitchers.

“Cass has a great frame,” Case continued. “He works hard andthrows with velocity. He has a sinker, too. Hopefully he can becomea starter for us.”

Case said he will have three outfielders returning from the2002 team. He wants to sign some middle infielders and a thirdbaseman.

Sidney Wheatley, Loyd Star’s new head baseball coach, workedwith Brister last summer and recognized his talents. “Cass hasunlimited potential. With his size and strength, he has a lot towork with.

“Cass will do those things necessary to improve to besuccessful on the college level,” Wheatley added. “He hits thespots and his control is very good.”

Brister said Hart also helped him improve as a pitcher.”Coach Hart worked with me after practice to make me get better. Hehelped me a lot.”

Case said he wants to sign several pitchers who can throwwith velocity. Brister throws consistently in the mid 80s.

Co-Lin has won the regional title three out of the last fouryears and placed fourth in the NJCAA Division II World Series in2000. “We have a bull’s eye on us this season,” said Case.

“We are in a major, major rebuilding year. Hopefully, ourpitching will come around. Then we can start putting the pieces ofthe puzzle together.”

The Wolves make their 2002 debut on Saturday, Feb. 16,hosting East Mississippi Community College.