Rebels Celebrate Baseball Seasons with Banquet
BY BRAD SAM
email@example.com Copyright 2018, Tri-County Pub.
McKENZIE (May 29) — The McKenzie Middle School and McKenzie High School Rebel Baseball teams celebrated their respective seasons with a banquet Tuesday in the high school cafeteria.
Principal Tim Watkins welcomed the players, coaches, families and other supporters, and freshman Eli Surber delivered a prayer before the delicious meal catered by Big Daddy’s BBQ.
As everyone finished dessert, MMS Head Coach Joseph Baumgartel (“Coach B”) spoke about his team and was overwhelmed with emotion at many points.
He said that he had had high hopes for the team from the beginning and put together a “hefty” schedule of games. He was proud that the team didn’t lose two games in a row all year, and that they had earned a championship trophy at the Sandlot Classic in Centerville.
He said that their postseason had ended sooner than they had wanted, but it was still a great season. The team went 15-6, including a 7-2 conference record with the only two losses coming at the hands of eventual conference champion Martin.
Coach B thanked the great many people and organizations that had made the season a success.
He then recognized the players and presented each with a certificate, joined by assistant coach George Cassidy.
Next was the presentation of individual awards, beginning with Sandlot Classic All-Tournament players Ty Anderson, Jackson Cassidy, Zayden McCaslin and Tournament MVP Jake McDaniel.
Silver Slugger awards, given to players with a batting average over .300 in a minimum of 15 games, went to Jackson Cassidy (.324), Zayden McCaslin (.328), Ty Anderson (.375) and Jake Cassidy (.481).
The Defensive Player of the Year award was presented to Collin McLearen. The Offensive Player of the Year was Jake McDaniel. Named Most Improved was Trey Cook; Most Improved JV was Lute McCaslin. The Drew Hayes Pitcher of the Year Award went to Jake McDaniel. The Coaches’ Award was presented to Zayden McCaslin. The team’s Most Valuable Player was Jake McDaniel.
MHS Head Coach Chris Wall then echoed the thanks to supporters and spoke about his team. He applauded the players because they “never quit” and said that “we wanted to be the best we could be, and we had the values and the character to do that.”
He called the team “the best defensive team I’ve ever coached,” and hoped that they could improve their hitting to go along with their stellar pitching and defense. He spoke with pride of the seniors, who had an 80-39 record over four years.
He and assistant coach Zach Tippitt presented each player with a certificate and named many as lettermen.
Individual awards were then given. A Silver Slugger award went to Chase Daffron (.310). Gold Gloves were presented to Josh Cannon, Murphy Watkins, Hunter Stafford and Harold Smith. All-District Players were Tyler Spivey, Zach Jarrett, Murphy Watkins and Pitcher of the Year Chase Daffron. Most Improved Players were Tyler Berryman (Offensive) and Evan Jarrett (Defensive). The team Pitcher of the Year award was presented to Chase Daffron, as was the Most Valuable Player award.
Tippitt then presented the P.L. Martin Team First Award to Nathan Eaton and Cameron Rawls and the Ricky Chism Award to Zach Jarrett.
Next, the first Ray Berryman Memorial Volunteer Award was presented by Stephen Berryman, son of Ray and father of senior Tyler. Ray coached for 40 years in the McKenzie City League, at Bethel College and in the Jackson Summer League. Stephen noted that there were many of his late father’s former players and friends in the room and said that the most important thing Ray had taught him was “how to be a father.” The award was presented to Craig Lunn, who embraced Stephen and thanked everyone with great emotion.
Former Rebel Bransen McCaleb then presented the Seth Foster Memorial Scholarship, a $500 grant from the McKenzie Youth Baseball League in honor of the late Foster. McCaleb spoke about Foster’s “crazy love for the game of baseball” before naming the recipient, Zach Jarrett.
Seniors and eighth graders presented gifts to their respective coaches before Homerun Club President Michele Jarrett gave gifts to the coaches and bus driver Wyatt Brooks. She expressed her gratitude to the coaches for “showing our boys what it’s like to be a man.”
The banquet concluded, but guests lingered for photos and to reminisce on great memories.
The McKenzie Middle School Rebels included: eighth graders Trey Cook, Jonathan Haney, Zayden McCaslin, Jake McDaniel, Collin McLearen and Sawyer Phipps; seventh graders Ty Anderson, Braden Birmingham, Chaten Bivens, Jackson Cassidy and Nolan Renfro; and sixth graders Lane Anderson, Dawson Brush, Jake Cassidy, Hayden Garrett, Lute Mc-Caslin and Aiden Sisemore.
The McKenzie High School Rebels included: seniors Tyler Berryman, Josh Cannon, Nathan Eaton, Zach Jarrett and Cameron Rawls; juniors Luke Bennett, Chase Colotta, Chase Daffron, Landon Johnson, Harold Smith, Tyler Spivey, Hunter Stafford, Murphy Watkins and Dashun Woodson; sophomores West Cook, Noah Hawkins, Evan Jarrett, Riley Joyner, Cameron Kee and Nick Simpson; and freshmen Brandon Boaz, Phillip Smith, Eli Surber and Ethan Travis.
Photos by Brad Sam/The Banner 5. The first Ray Berryman Memorial Volunteer Award was presented to Craig Lunn. Pictured are (L to R): Tyler Berryman, grandson of Ray; Stephen Berryman, son of Ray; Lunn; and Brenda Berryman, widow of Ray. Photo courtesy David Jarrett