Recently, the Daily Journal’s sports writers were reflecting on the best athletes they ever saw in person – regardless of the level of competition or location. For the next few Sundays, we’ll publish some of those reflections.
Working in sports every day, there are a couple of times that I’ve seen a kid who has more talent than their entire team put together.
It’s easy to pick a professional player as the best player I’ve ever seen in person, but I feel like that’s cheating. My picks are going to be players, that at the time, were high school players.
I went to McLaurin High School, where I was lucky enough to be in the same division with teams such as Raleigh, Forest and Morton. Those teams produced some pretty good players.
I remember my sophomore year of high school, we played Raleigh in football. That was Donte Moncrief’s senior year. He actually got hurt after the first quarter, but did all he needed to do against us for them to win.
In one quarter, he had one catch for a 56-yard touchdown.
In baseball that year, I had a broken leg so I got to watch the next player from the dugout. We played Forest in baseball, where Luke Reynolds and his family played.
Reynolds, if you remember, played baseball at both Mississippi State and Southern Miss before getting drafted. Forest beat us, 16-0, that game, and Reynolds and his teammates scored 10 runs and hit six home runs in the first inning.
He finished that game 3 for 4 at the plate with 2 RBIs and one absolute bomb.
There have been a lot of high schoolers since then that I’ve covered who have been great – Nakobe Dean, Willie Gay, Trendon Watford – but those two guys I mentioned above are two players that I remember just being way, way better than everyone else on the field.