Knights hope to continue winning ways
By By Marty Stamper/staff writer
Feb. 14, 2002
When West Lauderdale knocked off Independence in the third game of a best-of-three series for the Class 3A state championship last spring, it left the Knights alone atop Mississippi's all-time list for most state championships in baseball with 10.
Now the Knights want to distance themselves from the rest of the state.
Gone from the 2001 team are Josh Snider and Ryan Clay, who now play at East Mississippi Community College, and Brad McKee and Todd Doolittle, who play for Meridian Community College.
Youth will be a trademark of the 2002 Knights as only one of the top 13 players is a senior. Six are juniors, three are sophomores, and three are freshmen.
The lone senior is right fielder Van Wilson, who is the leading returning hitter. He has not been able to run yet due to a knee injury suffered in football that forced him to miss the entire basketball season.
Junior Richie McAllister will start at first base with freshman Randy Diveley getting the nod at second base. Sophomore Bo Davis will play shortstop with junior C. Jay Fountain manning the hot corner.
Junior Miles Joyner will do the catching.
In addition to Wilson, other outfielders are junior Jamie Fontan in left field and junior Ike Munn in center field. Fontan is a transfer from Lamar School.
The designated hitter slot will be filled from a four-man pool that includes sophomores Jeremiah Lovett and Jay Warren and freshmen Caleb Dulaney and Dave Woods.
Junior Trent Posey, who has already attracted interest from Mississippi State and Ole Miss, will be the Knights' pitching ace with Davis, Lovett, and Fountain to see time on the mound as well. Posey was the winning pitcher in the state playoffs' final game.
The Knights open their season Friday at 4 p.m. against Neshoba Central in the Lauderdale County Tournament at John Moss Field.