Thursday, June 12, 2008
Bolden earns spot in State Games
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy’s Hunter Bolden has been chosen to play for the District 2 baseball team in the 17th annual State Games of Mississippi.
Tryouts were held June 4 at Northwest Community College. Bolden was one of 18 players selected out of about 50 trying out for the squad.
“It’s hard to narrow it down,” said Patrick Robey, head baseball coach at South Panola who was involved in the selection process. “There are always about four or five players who stand out. Everybody there is a good high school player, and they’re all there because they want to be a part of it (the state games).
“It’s hard to say, ‘sorry, but we’re only taking 18.’ But that’s part of the game, and they all have good attitudes about it.
“We were able to put a good team together this year, and I believe those 18 will do a good job.”
He said Bolden was the only left-handed pitcher at the tryouts, but that’s not the only reason he was chosen.
“He swung the bat well, and we evaluated him highly as far as throwing from the outfield,” Robey said.
The State Games of Mississippi is a statewide amateur sportsfest, patterned after the Olympics, for 5,000 athletes of all ages and abilities. The games are held in Meridian. The baseball portion of the event will be played June 25-29 at Meridian Community College.
Teams, comprised of high school juniors and seniors graduating in 2009 and 2010, were selected from eight districts across Mississippi.
The baseball tournament will be a double-elimination, College World Series type format. Mississippi High School Activities Association rules will apply for the competition.
Robey said pro baseball scouts and college recruiters will be on hand during the State Games of Mississippi to evaluate the talent.
Coaches for the District 2 team will include Jeff Walls of Senatobia, Grant Alford of Senatobia and Drew McGehee of South Panola.
Bolden, who will be a senior at Marshall Academy, is the son of Daniel and Katrina Bolden. A starter at MA for several years, he helped lead the Patriots to the state quarter-finals in 2007 and the state championship round this past season.
“This is a great honor for Hunter,” said Johnny Ray, new head baseball coach at Marshall Academy. “He has the talent to play at the next level and this will allow him to be seen by several college coaches from Mississippi and other states. This is normally a very well-recruited event. A lot of times players from the MPSA are overlooked. This will give him an opportunity to showcase his talents with some of the state’s best, public and private.”
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