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District 7 team selected

WESSON — After four hours of fielding, pitching and hittingdrills Wednesday, the State Games of Mississippi District 7All-Star Baseball Team was determined. Eighteen players from acrossthe Southwest Mississippi region were chosen from a group of 56players representing the area’s public and private schools.

The State Games Tournament begins June 21 on the campus ofMeridian Community College. Serving as coaches on the District 7staff will be Brookhaven assistant Dustin Lott and Loyd Starassistant Jay Rayborn.

The team will compete against Mississippi’s other sevendistricts in an 8-team, double-elimination tournament. The topthree finishers receive bronze, silver, and gold medals at theconclusion of the event. Several college coaches and pro scouts areexpected to attend the 4-day tournament that runs from June21-24.

Players who tried out Wednesday at Copiah-Lincoln CommunityCollege’s Sullivan Field were greeted with an assortment ofworkouts, ranging from the 60-yard dash to batting and fieldingdrills. Pitchers were measured by radar guns testing their pitchspeed and location. Fielders went through arm strength and footworkdrills. The area’s best rising juniors and seniors make up theDistrict 7 All-Star team.

The following players will represent the region: Bud Britt(RHP/INF) Brookhaven, Nick Helmstetter (CF/RHP) Brookhaven, KolbyByrd (C) Brookhaven Academy, Corey Dickerson (INF/RHP) BrookhavenAcademy, Ryan Kennedy (LHP) Enterprise, Ben McDowell (LHP) FranklinCounty, Jordan Hunt (OF/RHP) Franklin County, Ben Slaton (C)McComb, Dontrell Sargent (3B/C) McComb, Josh Smith (OF) Parklane,Blake Brown (RHP/SS) Parklane, Eric Boyd (1B/RHP) Parklane, KyleAdams (INF) Parklane, Casey Paulk (RHP/OF) North Pike, Tyler Reeves(RHP/OF) Lawrence County, Matt Barnes (RHP/3B) Trinity, BrianSanderson (OF) Trinity, and Luke Brumfield (INF) Adams CountyChristian School.

Two of the area’s top rising seniors, left-handed pitchersPaxton King of Brookhaven and Mandela Mingo of Columbia, did nottry out because of their membership on summer traveling teams andschedule conflicts with the date of the State Games.

The 18 players who made the District 7 squad will try to becomethe first area team to place in the State Games since 2000, whenDistrict 7 finished third and received the bronze medal.