Mt. Zion Baptist in softball history

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, August 15, 2010

MT. Zion Baptist Church has recaptured the softball magic thatmade the men’s team a houshold name across the state ofMississippi. Mt. Zion Baptist Church won the Class A and Class AAAstate softball championships this summer.

“All of our starting infielders are head baseball coaches,” saidMt. Zionteam member and Loyd Star coach Jonathan Breakfield whoplays second base. The first baseman is Seth Lofton, Wesson;shortstop Jody Britt, Bogue Chitto; and third baseman, JordanRogers, Laurel.

Breakfield said the Mt. Zion team consists of five former playersfrom Loyd Star: David Smith, Scott Poole, Jared Rogers, Lofton andBritt; four from Wesson: Joseph Langham, Travis Smith, ShaneEasterling, Justin Smith; and one from North Pike, Dan VanNorman.Breakfield is from Columbia, Rogers, St. Martin, Bob Watson,Cleveland, and Steven Cothern, Enterprise-Clarke.

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David Smith has cancer and has been going through chemotherapy.Smith has been playing since 1976 and usually pitches. Easterlingtook over on the mound for Smith this year.

“(Smith) coached us up a little bit,” said Breakfield

Ten of the players signed junior college baseball scholarships.Four of them played senior college baseball: Rogers and Rogers atWilliam Carey University, Lofton at West Alabama and Britt atMississippi College.

Church league softball used to be notorious for bringing inringers, especially for tournaments. The rules are more strictthese days and teams mostly rely on church members.

“A lot of people think we are an outlaw team but all of these menare legit members,” said Breakfield. “Some of us are deacons andothers teach Sunday School.”

Mt. Zion claims four ordained deacons and five Sunday Schoolteachers on the team.

Located in northern Lincoln County, the church team has a greatsoftball tradition of 40 years or more. The teams have won numerousstate championships, including three state titles in the last threeyears.

Breakfield said Mt. Zion won a national championship 1978.

Both state tournaments were played at the Pearl Athletic Complex.Mt. Zion beat Bunker Hill in the Class A finals. Breakfield’sparents are members of Bunker Hill, located near Columbia.

In the AAA tournament, Mt. Zion defeated Biloxi 17-17 and wentunbeaten in the double-elimination tournament.

“We had 150 (members) in Sunday school,” said Breakfield. It wasDavid versus Goliath on the diamond.

“We beat Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Park Place and Natchez,” saidBreakfield. “I thought that was pretty neat.”

Mt. Zion finished undefeated in AAA. In the A Series, beat BunkerHill 19-18 in the championship game after losing 27-24.