Calling a truce: Gators, Thunder welcome players from rival Warren Central|[07/18/07]
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Adam Lee declared a temporary truce Tuesday afternoon as he donned an unfamiliar Vicksburg High green uniform.
The Warren Central baseball player is among 10 Vikings who will be suiting up for either the Vicksburg Gators or Vicksburg Thunder, a team made up mostly of St. Aloysius players, for the 16-under Babe Ruth Southwest Regional at Bazinsky Field.
“We have a temporary truce, for as long as we go. But once next season rolls around, it’ll be back to normal,” Lee said.
Email newsletter signup
Normally a starter at third base for the varsity Vikings, Lee was picked by the Gators to join their squad. He will move to second base for the revamped Vicksburg Gator team.
Warren Central finished third in a three-team league to decide the host team for the tournament, but because of a snag with players’ ages, the 10 Vikings who were eligible to play in the Babe Ruth tournament were drafted by the two other teams.
Vicksburg won the league to earn the host role and the St. Aloysius’ Flashes got a second berth as the district representative to complete the eight-team field.
For WC’s Dee White, it’s like old times. White even sported a black St. Al cap during Tuesday’s get-acquainted practice.
“Man, I’ve been playing with these guys since I was nine years old,” White said. “I’m glad to be back with my boys. I think I was their No. 1 draft pick. They’ve already put me in center and I think I may even be leading off.”
White had been been a member of the Vicksburg Hurricanes, a group of Vicksburg Baseball Association players who banded together for a run of tournament baseball over the past six years.
That core group includes Ryno Martin-Nez, Stephen Evans, Pierson Waring, Regan Nosser, Justin Rushing, Blake Haygood and Brendan Beesley from St. Al along with White, Dylan Wooten and Jimmy Elliott of WC.
“Nah, it has not been bad at all,” Elliot said of rejoining his Hurricane crew. He’ll play either second or short.
Wooten will be valuable as a pitcher to the Thunder. He had two starts for the varsity Vikings this season, including one against Neville in the Ouachita Baseball Tournament in Monroe, La.
Jay Harper and John Michael Harris are the other two Vikings joining the Thunder. Harper will play at third base and Harris can pitch and play first.
“I think the biggest thing with us is the rust. We haven’t played in awhile,” Thunder coach Trey Clark said. “Most of the WC kids have played with our guys before. White’s played for them, Wooten’s pitched for them and Jimmy Elliott has played with them.”
As for the new Gators, the group includes Lee, De Kelley, Chris Snow, Jason Pettway and Colby Key.
“They’ve made us feel like part of the team, which is nice,” Kelley said. “It’s been different. But I think it’s pretty cool that we get to play in a regional. It should be a good experience for us.”
Pettway added, “We just want to make plays, all of us.”
Lee said Gator coaches Jamie Creel and Tim Hughes have installed a pretty simple approach.
“It’s simple stuff, but if we win and go to the World Series, it will get more complicated,” Lee said.