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Spring presents baseball awards

Even though the 2003-2004 school year has come to a close, therewas plenty to celebrate on Monday night at the Brookhaven CountryClub for Brookhaven High School.

The Ole Brook Panther baseball team held their annual banquet inrecognition the 2004 Division 6-4A, South State 4A and State 4Achampionships. This squad posted a 30-8 worksheet, the best ever inthe school’s history.

Stan Patrick serves as the master of ceremonies for the evening.Coach John Ogden opened with the invocation. A delicious meal ofBlack Angus steak, a baked potato and a green salad was enjoyed. Achocolate cake with white, blue and red frosting served as desert.A team picture of the 2004 4A State champions adorned the tableswith red and blue balloons and pompoms.

Ole Brook head coach Randy Spring opened the program byrecognizing the 2004 Class 4A State champions. Varsity playersincluded Darius Perkins, Xavier Qualls, Brooks Hall, Adam Ogden,Grant McDonnieal, Scotty Smith, Josh Patrick, Elliott Warren, CodyDunaway, Brandt Hinton, W.T. King, Marlon Dixon, Guy Orr, MattWalker, Zach Watson, Josh Coone and Garion Crockett.

Junior varsity players recognized were Sean McGowan, StevenSmith, Dustin Vanderslice, R.J. Jenkins, Cole Newell, Mitch Pappasand Cody Ratcliff.

The statisticians included Ashley Hatcher, Emily Oberschmidt,Lauren Payne and Sabrina Armstrong. Keosha Hooker served as theteam manager.

Spring’s assistants were Eric Stokes, Jaymie Palmer and DwayneOberschmidt, along with their wives Amy Spring, Donna Stokes,Laurie Palmer and Sarah Oberschmidt.

Spring thanked the numerous people who supported the baseballteam throughout the season. Brookhaven’s Superintendent of SchoolsDr. Sam Bounds, Brookhaven High principal Susan Chapman, assistantsDon Coleman and Dr. Marilyn Dow-Harris and athletic director TuckerPeavey. Public Address announcers Shannon Aker, Mark Lewis, RobFisher, Stan and Jake Patrick were recognized. Parents includedKathy Walker, Terry and Holly Pappas and Elaine Vanderslice whoworked the concession stand.

Spring, who has concluded his fifth season at BHS, also thankedthe Ole Brook Diamond Club members including the officers-presidentBrad Hall, vice-president John Ogden and secretary/treasurerStan/Susie Patrick. Jamie Oster did maintenance on the field forgame days. Tom Goetz, Will Watson and Billy Freeman for their mediacoverage and Watson for being “The Radio Voice of thePanthers.”

Spring had many reflections on the past season, but one thatshould out in his mind was the 2002 season where the Panthers grewup through adversity and finished 13-16. The following year, OleBrook finished 22-10 and won the Division 6-4A championship,setting the stage for this historic occasion.

“That year we lost a lot of guys to injuries, players leavingthe team, etc.,” said Spring. “That 2002 team sowed the seed forthis year team. A lot of guys had to step up and play ahead oftheir time.”

Talking about the 2004 campaign, Spring mentioned road gamesagainst Natchez Cathedral, Clinton and McComb. Home contestsfeaturing McComb and Terry stood out as well.

“We made 12 errors against Clinton, and lost by one run,”continued Spring. “If we played to our potential, look how good wecould be.”

“The McComb game was the best game that I have ever beeninvolved with,” added Spring who was referring to the 9-8 win inMcComb to clinch his ballclub’s second consecutive divisioncrown.

As the season went further along, Spring noticed that the crowdsincreased.

“I want to thank the community for their support,” said Spring.”We played in front of some huge crowds.”

There were several playoff games where attendance reached overthe 1,000 mark, culminating with over 3,200 fans witnessing the 4Afinal game (a 10-2 win over Ponotoc) at Smith-Wills Stadium inJackson.

Spring presented the following awards to the 2004 Class 4A statechampions: Scholastic, Josh Patrick; Best Offensive Player, DariusPerkins, Xavier Qualls and Brooks Hall; Best Defensive Player, AdamOgden; Best Pitcher, Scotty Smith; Most Improved, W.T. King; Mr.Hustle, Cody Dunaway; Most Valuable Player, Scotty Smith; PantherAward, Josh Patrick. Seniors Patrick, Qualls, Hall, Ogden, Smith,Dunaway, King and Matt Walker were named permanent team captainsand were presented with their white Brookhaven jerseys, apersonalized travel bag recognizing their state championship effortand a plaque.

Statisticians Ashley Hatcher and Emily Oberschmidt werepresented with a gift bag.

Special recognition went to the following players; Division 6-4Afirst team-outfielder Darius Perkins, catcher Adam Ogden, firstbasemen Grant McDonnieal, infielder/pitcher Brooks Hall andoutfielder Xavier Qualls. Honorable mention awards went to CodyDunaway, Josh Patrick and Brandt Hinton as the utility player.Scotty Smith was selected as the Most Valuable Player.

Smith and Ogden were named First-team All State by theMississippi Association of Coaches. Hall and Ogden were selected asSouth alternates for the 2004 4A/5A All-Star baseball game. Quallsand Smith were chosen to play for the South team in the All-StarClassic at Smith-Wills Stadium in Jackson at 1 p.m. Smith is unableto participate. Smith and Qualls were also named Second-Team AllState by a Jackson-area newspaper.

“This was an unbelievable season,” said Spring after presentingthe awards. “Thanks go to everyone for their support. You are veryfortunate to be a part of a state championship program.”

Ogden concluded the evening by presenting “gag gifts” to thePanther coaching staff.