Warren Central fans flock to Trustmark Park for state championship series

Published 4:00 am Thursday, May 23, 2024

PEARL — There was a buzz in Trustmark Park on Wednesday. Cheers rang throughout the concourse and plenty of celebratory handshakes and happy hugs were shared.

Some of it even had to do with the action on the baseball field.

When Warren Central faced George County in Game 1 of the MHSAA Class 6A championship series, hundreds of fans took the opportunity to use it as a class and family reunion. Old friends met up and caught up, reliving old times and glory days gone by, and family members shared a once-in-a-generation moment.

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Warren Central is in the baseball state finals for the first time since 2001.

“We picked right up where we left off,” said Warren Central alum Jeff Mitchell. “I hadn’t seen Tyler DeRossette or John Morgan Mims since 2003. We literally sat down and talked about things like we were never even separated. That’s the coolest thing about all of it. It’s baseball. That’s all I can say. It’s baseball.”

Mitchell, Mims and DeRossette were all members of Warren Central’s last — and, so far, only — state championship team in 2001. Mitchell was the starting left fielder, Mims played right field and DeRossette catcher as the Vikings finished 36-3 and finished ranked No. 3 in the country.

Mitchell said as the three sat together they called another former teammate and all of them enjoyed a visit while watching the current generation of Vikings retrace their footsteps.

“It was awesome to relive. We were even going back to the Mudcat days, talking about different things,” Mitchell said, referring to the group’s youth baseball team from the 1990s. “I couldn’t even sleep last night. I was so excited for (WC coach Randy) Broome. We did this in ‘01 and they get a chance to do it again.”

The scene with Mitchell, Mims and DeRossette played out all over Trustmark Park as scores of people drove from Vicksburg and other places — Mitchell now lives in Pelahatchie — to see their team play.

No official attendance for the game was given by the MHSAA, but Warren Central’s supporters filled up most of the sections on the first base side behind the team’s dugout. A sizable contingent from George County added to the festive atmosphere to form a crowd that appeared to be well over 1,500 people. Trustmark Park holds about 7,500.

Warren Central coach Randy Broome said he was too focused on the game to pay much attention to the crowd behind him, but did sneak a couple of glances.

“A couple times. But too many gerbils running around in my head to concentrate on that,” Broome said with a laugh. “I’m proud of the turnout. Proud of the community. I could hear them.”

Unfortunately, Warren Central’s fans went home disappointed Wednesday after the Vikings lost 3-2 to George County. They will, however, have another chance — and hopefully two — to cheer on their team.

Game 2 of the best-of-three series is Friday at 4 p.m. at Trustmark Park. If Warren Central wins, Game 3 is Saturday at a time that will be determined.

MHSAA Class 6A championship series
At Trustmark Park, Pearl; best-of-three
• Game 1 – George County 3, Warren Central 2
• Game 2 – Friday, May 24, 4 p.m.
• Game 3 – Saturday, May 25, TBA (if necessary)
• Tickets are $15 per day and are available through GoFan.co. Tickets are good for all games for the day purchased.

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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