2023 All-County Baseball: Warren Central’s Broome claims Coach of the Year award

Published 3:55 am Sunday, June 11, 2023

When he looked at the final few teams standing in the MHSAA Class 6A baseball playoff bracket, Randy Broome felt a little sick.

His Warren Central Vikings had faced three of the final four and beaten two of them. They took two close losses to the third. It gave Broome the knowledge that his team was as good as any of them, even if they exited the postseason earlier than they wanted to.

“This time of year, everybody’s good. You need to catch some breaks. It’s not necessarily that you kick yourself, but it’s a kick,” Broome said. “You realize that you were just as good, you were in the mix, but you’re sitting at home and they’re still playing.”

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The bad luck and the few bad innings that contributed to the end of Warren Central’s season did not diminish what it accomplished over the course of 28 games.

The Vikings finished 17-11, their first winning record since 2019. They won their first region championship since 2016. And Broome, who guided the ship, hauled in the 2023 Vicksburg Post baseball Coach of the Year award.

It’s the second time Broome has won the award. The first was in 2004, during his first stint as the Vikings’ coach. He returned to the helm in 2020.

“I’m blessed and definitely excited about it,” Broome said. “It’s getting recognized by others that are not here every day and don’t see what goes into it every day. That helps me understand and appreciate there are some things we’re doing that are right.”

The 2023 Vikings turned things around after a couple of down seasons. Led by junior college signees Blake Channell (Mississippi Delta), Seth Sterling (Mississippi Gulf Coast) and Kylan Landers (Hinds), they won games in a variety of ways.

The Vikings hit 10 home runs in the first month of the season — they finished with 12 — then got some solid pitching performances during the Region 6-6A schedule. In their seven region wins, the staff allowed a total of nine runs.

A common ingredient in all of the success, Broome said, was a mixture of grit, hustle and maturity that helped the Vikings power through most of the adversity that got thrown their way.

“At the end of the day, I tell them all the time, if we show up and we play like we’re supposed to, and we compete and hustle and be good teammates, and we get beat that night, then Coach Broome goes home happy,” Broome said.
“You’re not going to win all of them. But when you lose, when you make bonehead decisions, when you’re not into it and doing the things we practice every day, that’s what keeps me up at night,” he added. “There weren’t many times this year where we weren’t doing the things right.”

Warren Central’s 17 wins included two against Northwest Rankin and one against Germantown, who both reached the Class 6A semifinals. Four of its 11 losses were by one run, and several that were larger margins were competitive deep into the game.

The close losses, Broome said, were as much an indication that things were going well as the victories were.

“We won some close ballgames and we lost a couple of close ones early. But the fact we were in it and still had a chance to win I think helped us get over that hump,” he said. “When the ball starts rolling the right way sometimes it’s hard to stop.”

The season ended with a two-game sweep at the hands of Gulfport, which reached the Class 6A championship series.
Gulfport beat Warren Central 3-1 and 10-9, and in the latter the Vikings nearly overcame a huge deficit to stay alive.

Although things did not break Warren Central’s way, Broome said it was still a satisfying run that left him ready for next year knowing his program is one that has the DNA to compete with — and beat — Mississippi’s best.

“The satisfying part is to know this is what we’ve done to this point, and in three years you’re the district champs and to the second round of the playoffs with a chance of advancing and having success against the teams that are still in it,” he said. “It definitely recharges the batteries when we’re about to crank it back up this summer.”

Vicksburg Post Coaches of the Year
2023 – Randy Broome, Warren Central
2022 – Antonio Calvin, Vicksburg
2021 – Sid Naron, St. Aloysius
2020 – No winner
2019 – Conner Douglas, Warren Central
2018 – Sid Naron, St. Aloysius
2017 – Conner Douglas, Warren Central
2016 – Conner Douglas, Warren Central
2015 – Conner Douglas, Warren Central
2014 – Conner Douglas, Warren Central
2013 – Derrik Boland, St. Aloysius
2012 – Ryan Grey, Vicksburg
2011 – Jerry Bourne, Porters Chapel
2010 – Clint Wilkerson, St. Aloysius
2009 – Clint Wilkerson, St. Aloysius
2008 – Jamie Creel, Vicksburg
2007 – Clint Wilkerson, St. Aloysius
2006 – Randy Wright, Porters Chapel
2005 – Clint Wilkerson, St. Aloysius
2004 – Randy Broome, Warren Central
2003 – Randy Wright, Porters Chapel
2002 – Joe Graves, St. Aloysius
2001 – Sam Temple, Warren Central
2000 – Jamie Creel, Vicksburg
1999 – Randy Wright, Porters Chapel
1998 – Sam Temple, Warren Central
1997 – Ray Burroughs, Vicksburg
1996 – Joe Graves, St. Aloysius
1995 – Joe Graves, St. Aloysius
1994 – Joe Graves, St. Aloysius

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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