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BHS baseball team cited

Brookhaven seniors Gabe Wilson and Scottie Peavey were namedCo-Most Valuable Players on the 2011 Brookhaven baseball teamduring Thursday night’s awards banquet. Both sparkled at the plateand in the field.

Wilson and Peavey also were named Permanent Team Captains by OleBrook head coach Randy Spring. Peavey won the Best Offensive Playeraward after batting .554, hitting six homers and driving in 42runs.

Spring lavished praise on his five seniors: Wilson, Peavey, J.D.Britt, E.J. Henderson and Joel Patrick. “These five seniors helpedus to a 76-45 record. They won a division title and made it to theplayoffs four times.”

Public address announcer and Diamond Club president Stan Patrickserved as emcee. He welcomed the crowd to the First Baptist Churchcafeteria and provided the invocation.

Spring, in his 12th year at BHS, thanked the school administration,Diamond Club officers, players, parents and coaches, plus theirwives; for their support during the long season. He thanked ChrisPorter for running the scoreboard and Patrick for their efforts inthe press box.

The crowd was treated to a video show composed by Laurie Perkins.Frank Perkins provided most of the photos.

Spring described the season as, “If.” The team was plagued by keyinjuries to starters for a third straight year. “We had the bestpreseason ever and everyone worked hard to get ready. Then theinjuries started.”

Two of Brookhaven’s top pitchers, Peavey and Andrew Culver, threwjust 18 innings combined this season. “Our projected startersmissed a total of 33 games due to injuries.”

Spring said his team learned to deal with adversity. “Our playersknow how to respond. Younger players had to step up. We had 24players on our team and nobody let us down.”

Looking at the campaign, Spring said his team put up recordnumbers. The Panthers averaged 10.5 runs per game, had acareer-best .384 batting average and had three players with over 30RBIs, plus one player (Peavey) with over 40 RBIs.

He thanked assistant coaches Dustin Lott and Chad Leggett for theirhelp during the campaign and expressed his appreciation to DwayneOberschmidt for volunteering to direct the junior high team atAlexander.

Peavey, selected to the MAC All-Star Game next month, worked as apitcher and outfielder for the Panthers. He missed a portion of theseason due to a back injury and never regained his full strength.He has signed a scholarship with Northwest Florida State CommunityCollege.

Wilson, an infielder and pitcher, is a Meridian Community Collegesignee. He also was slowed by injuries. He went 7-for-8 in twoplayoff games against Vancleave, despite a leg injury. He batted.475 on the season.

Britt won the Best Pitcher Award. He has signed with Copiah-LincolnCommunity College. Henderson, winner of the Dwayne OberschmidtPanther Award, is an outfielder who has signed a footballscholarship with Alabama State University. He also plans to playbaseball for the Hornets.

Patrick, an outfielder, received the Most Improved Award and theAcademic Award.

Dillon Newell received the Mr. Hustle Award.

Drew Jones and J.B. Perkins were co-winners of the Best DefensivePlayer Award.

The Panthers were runners-up to West Jones in the Region 6-5A raceand placed five players on the All-Region First Team: Peavey,Wilson, Perkins, Jones and Houston Case. Honorable mention went toBritt, Henderson, Patrick and Newell.

Spring noted that three former Panthers were having good careers onthe college level. Paxton King is a relief pitcher for SouthernMiss. Bud Britt was a leading hitter for Co-Lin and expects to signwith Belhaven University in the near future. Pitcher Cole Newellplays for LSU-Shreveport and his team has qualified for the NAIAWorld Series.

A.J. Spring, the volunteer concession stand cook, gave the closingprayer after his son had finished handing out the awards.