Amory coach Chad Williams played in the very first NEMCABB all-star game, so it was fitting that his head coaching career finished out with heading up the East 4A/6A all-star team in this year’s game.
“We had a great time tonight, and there were a lot of great players out on the field today,” said Williams, whose East squad took a 7-1 loss. “Getting to coach against Coach (Jake) Mills and getting to coach with my assistants was a big honor.”
Amory was also represented by pitcher/outfielder Davis Helton, third baseman Cooper Jones and shortstop Jake Williams and by assistant coaches Chris Pace and Coty Cox.
Williams said he was glad to coach one last time with Pace, who has served as his assistant coach for the last 12 years.
“It’s good to coach with him one last time,” he said. “He’s been my right-hand guy for 12 years, and he does things that have helped me out and he does things that I don’t even know about half the time that he’s taken care of. He and Coach Cox do a great job, and this is a good bunch of guys to end it with. We had a good time, and it was a good little weekend. We came up a little bit short on the scoreboard, but we got to play a little bit more ball.”
Williams was also inducted into the NEMCABB Hall of Fame and serves on the board for the all-star association.
“This organization means a lot to me, and being on the board is good,” Williams said. “I have been on the board for quite some time and been a member since I’ve been coaching. I played in the very first game that NEMCABB had in 1991, so this game means a lot to me.”
3A/5A Game: East 7, West 2
Hatley’s group of Avery Benson, Will Cantrell, Matt Swan and Camron Wright helped lead the East to the 7-2 victory, coached by their coaches John Harris and Ben Spann.
Benson was named the East Most Valuable Player after recording a pair of hits, including an RBI double.
“It’s a big honor when you’re playing with some of the best people in our area,” Benson said. “It’s bittersweet to play with Will and Camron and for my coaches one last time, but it’s not just too bad because I know that they will move on to bigger and better things as well. It’s great for us all to go out with a win.”
Benson singled in the first inning, and his courtesy runner scored the first run of the game. In a five-run sixth inning, all four Hatley players recorded a hit.
Wright singled to center after a leadoff hit by Booneville’s Connor Davis, then Benson drove in a run with a double for his second hit. Swan had an infield single later in the inning, and Cantrell capped off the frame by smashing an RBI double to left.
“Everyone showed up, played really well and had a good time,” Hatley coach John Harris said. “I really enjoyed the opportunity to get to be here and coach all of them, especially to coach my guys. That was something real special and something I hope they will never forget. I know I won’t. I wish them all the best. Avery won the MVP award, and it was just a collective effort. We pitched well, played defense and put the ball in play. Most everyone got a hit or got on base, and we busted out there at the end.”
1A/2A Game: East 7, West 5
All five Monroe County players reached base in the East’s 7-5 win, and Smithville’s Layne Williams won Best Offense, while Hamilton’s Jamie Dean Atkins won Best Defense.
The East was trailing 2-0 until a five-run third inning. Hamilton’s Cade Smith drew a walk, then Smithville’s Mitch Finn picked up an RBI single to drive in the first run. Finn and teammate Shawn Dalton Weatherbee both scored on a wild pitch, and Williams and Atkins each picked up RBI singles later in the inning to give the East a 5-2 lead.
Smithville’s Tucker Hood singled in his second at-bat in the fourth inning, and Williams and Finn also reached base again later in the game as Finn had an RBI fielder’s choice.
Smithville’s Jamie Russell was named the Class 1A Coach of the Year.