Making the adjustment to playing in a larger ballpark and a wider, deeper outfield has been a point of emphasis for the Water Valley Blue Devils in practices leading up to their Class 3A state title series with Sumrall.
All of the MHSAA’s state championship games are played at Trustmark Park in Pearl. The home of the Class AA Mississippi Braves features a fence that is 402 feet deep in center field, 332 feet down the right field line and 330 down the line in left. All of the dimensions are bigger than almost every high school field in the state while the playing surface will arguably be the quickest any of the Blue Devils or Bobcats have played on. (May 24, 2010, Page 2B)
No matter the sport, there is always one game or one moment that plays an incredibly pivotal role in helping define that particular team.
In the case of the Water Valley Blue Devils baseball team, that defining moment came shortly after the team wrapped up its fourth game in the Oxford Spring Break Tournament. After winning their first two games, the Blue Devils struggled against Grenada in a loss and were thoroughly beaten by Center Hill in the finale. (May 21, 2010, Page 7a)
It doesn’t take a long time to figure out that the Sumrall Bobcats are a very, very good team. The gaudy team stats speak for themselves while back-to-back Class 3A titles, a 33-1 overall record this season and a 67-game winning streak that ended earlier this season only add to the Bobcats’ resume. (May 21, 2010, Page 7a)
A CONVERSATION WITH — Kainen Gilley graduates tonight at the C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum as part of the Water Valley High School Class of 2010. He transferred to WVHS as a seventh-grader from the Mississippi School for the Blind in Jackson, and has since developed a deep affection for Water Valley schools, and for the teachers, administrators and fellow students who have supported him. He will next spend several months at an independent living facility in Tupelo.
A season built on strong team unity and an aggressive, yet productive approach at the plate paid dividends in spades for the Water Valley Blue Devils in Monday night’s decisive Class 3A North Half title series with Booneville. (more…) (May 18, 2010, Page 8)
A strong foundation of playing together has been in place ever since coach Doug Robbins took over the team six seasons ago, but this year’s team may take that mindset to a whole different level.
Water Valley’s advancement to the MHSAA Class 3A state baseball championships Monday didn’t just happen, it was built on a season filled with caring and sharing and dedication to one another. The bond amongst the team was never more visible than just before the top of the sixth inning started in Monday’s 7-6 win over Booneville in the 3A North Half title game. (May 18, 2010, Page 8)
If there was ever a time for senior pitcher Shanquayle Jenkins to record his best outing of the season, it was in Saturday’s must-win Class 3A North Half playoff game against Booneville.
Jenkins logged a complete-game effort in Water Valley’s 8-1 win over the visiting Blue Devils, who will now host the deciding third game of the series tonight at 6 at Harold T. White Field. (May 17, 2010, Page 3B)
In Thursday night’s Class 3A North Half showdown between the Blue Devils of Water Valley and Booneville, it wasn’t a string of towering home runs, but a series of perfectly placed taps that made the difference.
Following back-to-back bunt singles that were perfectly placed on either side of the pitcher’s mound to load the bases in the bottom of the seventh, eighth grade catcher Andrew Lambert lofted a ball just out of the infield.
The flare scored Jeiron Jones before the ball had even landed in shallow right field, giving Booneville a 5-4 victory at Harold T. White Field. (May 14, 2010, Page 6A)
If everything pans out as many think, then this week’s Class 3A North Half baseball championship series between the Water Valley Blue Devils and Booneville should be a good one.
The two evenly matched teams will square off against one another starting Thursday at 6 p.m. in Booneville. The winner of the best-of-three series will then represent the North in the MHSAA’s 3A title series against either perennial power Sumrall or Forest, who will battle for the South Half title on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. (May 12, 2010, Page 8)
Two of the most complete games of the season have propelled the Water Valley Blue Devils back into the North Half title series.
The Blue Devils polished off the Corinth Warriors in two games in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs to set up a matchup with another set of Blue Devils — Booneville — for the right to advance on to Trustmark Park for the 3A title series next week. WVHS (20-6 overall) defeated the Warriors 5-3 on Friday and 11-6 on Saturday to capture their fifth straight win and seventh in the last eight games. (May 10, 2010, Page 3B)