Meridian claims 19-and-under men's gold medal

By By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
June 25, 2002
Featuring a mix of players from State 3A runner-up West Lauderdale, Northeast Lauderdale, Meridian High and Lamar School, the Meridian Ballers won the gold at the State Games of Mississippi's Adult Men's 19-and-under division.
The 19-and-under tournament was held at the youth fields at the Meridian Jaycee Park. The rest of the adult men were played at Northeast Park.
The Meridian team of coach Forest Hime played with an emotional zeal in honor of a fallen teammate.
On Sunday, the group added another State Games gold by beating Pearl 3-2 for the 19-and-under men's title.
Brandon Rogers, who played at West Lauderdale and is set to play for Meridian Community College in the fall, scored Meridian's first goal.
Josh Murphy scored the final two goals to hand Meridian the win. Murphy played with Rogers on the Knights' 3A State runner-up team last February and has also signed with MCC.
Tyler Skelton was Meridian's goal-keeper.
Meridian opened play with a 2-1 win over Singing River. They followed that with a 2-0 win over Biloxi.