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Votaw secures MVP honors

Scott Votaw’s outstanding pitching performances and booming homeruns will be remembered in Lawrence County’s baseball history. Hewas one of the keys in Lawrence County’s annual march to theplayoffs.

Votaw’s accomplishments at the plate and on the mound have receivedhuge reviews from college coaches. Just recently, Votaw signed anathletic scholarship to play baseball for Meridian CommunityCollege. He plans to pursue a career in physical therapy.

For his accomplishments, Votaw has been named The DAILY LEADER’sMost Valuable Player and Mr. Baseball on the 2011 All-AreaTeam.

The DL’s All-Area Dream Team is composed of players outside LincolnCounty. It was selected by the DL’s sports staff, with inputprovided by high school and college coaches.

Other special awards went to Lawrence County senior outfielder AdamWatson, pegged All-Area Offensive Player. Wesson’s ace pitcher MattSmith received the All-Area Defensive Player Award.

Joining Votaw and Smith on the pitching mound are Kendrick Hodgesand Revis Butler, both from North Pike.

Receiving honors as catcher are Keith Martin of Lawrence County,Forrest Dungan of Columbia, Paxton Cupit of Wesson and Jake Martinof North Pike.

The infielders are Will Richardson of North Pike, Jonkill Skipperof Hazlehurst, Preston Shelton of Franklin County, Pat Boone ofWesson and Austin McFarland of Franklin County.

In the outfield with Watson are Dylan Lea of Lawrence County, GageWilson of Wesson and Dennis Harper of Copiah Academy.

Designated hitters are Ryan Ellis of Columbia, Jarvis Warner ofHazlehurst and Colton Brown of Copiah Academy.

Utility players are Hakeem Forbes of Columbia and Mitch Little ofCopiah Academy.

All-purpose players are Milton Griffin of Franklin County and CaseyHurley of Copiah Academy.

Scott Votaw, a 6-foot-4, 210 pounder, was the Cougars’ ace on themound. He compiled a 9-1 record this season and had a 2.60 ERA,striking out 53 batters and walking 18.

Votaw played in the 37th annual All-Star baseball gameSaturday.

Asked about his pitching skills, Votaw said, “My fastball andcurveball were my best pitches on the season. I managed to get alot of strikeouts with those pitches.”

As s shortstop, Votaw batted .455, hit 12 homers and drove in 44runs for Coach Cory Keyes.

“Scott is a tremendous player with great leadership and physicalabilities,” said Keyes. “Scott has started for us for the past fouryears and it has been a pleasure to coach him.”

Votaw commented on his improvement in hitting, “I was veryconfident in my pitching and defensive skill. So I concentrated alot more on improving my hitting technique during the offseason. Ikept working on it until I had confidence in my swing.”

Adam Watson (5-10, 160) can play any position in the outfield. Hebatted .478 for Lawrence County. He drove in 37 runs, hit 7 homersand 10 doubles. He had an .928 slugging percentage.

“Adam has been a pleasure to coach,” said Coach Keyes. “He had sucha great year for us. He helped us to win 24 games and a spot in thesecond round of the playoffs.

“Adam is a mentally tough player at the plate,” continued Keyes.”He will figure out each pitcher and battle them.”

Watson uses an Easton Surge bat that weighs 29 ounces and is 32inches in length.

Asked about his baseball skills, Watson said, “I worked hardeveryday, even when no one was looking. I listen to my coaches andfocus hard on becoming mentally tough.”

Watson’s future plans are to attend Co-Lin Community College andpursue a career in chemical engineering.

Matt Smith (6-2, 200) played a huge role in Wesson’s amazing marchto the 2A South State Championship series.

Smith compiled an 8-2 record on the season. His precise pitchingearned him a 1.57 ERA, striking out 91 batters and allowed 42walks.

As a shortstop, Smith batted .508, drove in 31 runs and hit 6homers for Wesson Coach Seth Lofton.

“Matt is a talented athlete,” said Lofton. “He is a hard-workingindividual that will not quit and he provides great leadership tothe team.”

Asked about his pitching skills, Smith said. “I concentrated onlocating my pitches. I relied on my coaches for assistance and keptmy faith in the defense behind me.”

Smith’s favorite college team is Ole Miss and his favorite MLB teamis the New York Yankees. He has signed with Copiah-LincolnCommunity College to play baseball.

Kendrick Hodges, a senior, compiled a 6-1 record for North Pike. Hehad a 4.24 ERA, striking out 28 batter and walking 9.

Revis Butler, a senior, posted an 8-0 worksheet for the Jaguars. Hechalked up 39 strikeouts and owned a 1.95 ERA.

Keith Martin, a senior, batted .372 for the Lawrence County Cougarsand chalked up 27 RBIs.

Forrest Dungan, a senior, earned a .488 batting average for theColumbia High Wildcats, who won the 4A state title.

Paxton Cupit, a junior, posted a .368 batting average and drove in10 runs.

Jake Martin, a senior, batted .380 at the plate for North Pike. Hehit 6 homers and drove in 33 runs.

Will Richardson, a senior, compiled a .349 average for the NorthPike Jaguars.

Jonkill Skipper a freshman, had a productive year for theHazlehurst Indians. He had an .394 batting average.

Preston Shelton, a senior, helped the Franklin County Bulldogs witha .486 average at the plate.

Austin McFarland, a senior, provided leadership for theMeadville-based Bulldogs. He batted .526 on the season.

Pat Boone, a senior, was a force at first base. He earned a .337batting average for Wesson.

Dylan Lea a senior, batted .455 for the Cougars. He drove in 29runs and hit 7 home runs.

Gage Wilson, a senior, posted a .344 average for the Cobras.

Dennis Harper, a senior, batted .374 for the Copiah AcademyColonels.

Ryan Ellis, a senior, was the leader for the Wildcats as he batted.526 on the season.

Jarvis Warner, a freshman, batted an .500 for Hazlehurst.

Colton Brown, a senior, posted a .440 batting average for theColonels.

Hakeem Forbes, a sophomore, earned a .300 average at the plate forColumbia.

Mitch Little, a senior, had a productive season for the Colonels.He batted .419.

Milton Griffin, a senior, a gifted athlete for the Franklin CountyBulldogs, earned an .528 batting average.

Casey Hurley, a senior, orchestrated a .443 batting average forCopiah Academy.