FC baseball recognizes top players, All-District choices

by Sean Dunlap

Franklin County High School’s varsity baseball team celebrated its successes from the recently completed 2023 season with the squad’s annual post-campaign banquet held at the Bude First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall on Tuesday, May 16.

FCHS Head Baseball Coach Michael Ward said he was appreciative of the efforts put forth by all his players, the team’s parents, the baseball booster organization and first-year Assistant Coach Kent King.

He cited their support and tireless dedication in making the Diamond Dawgs shine in their 18-8 overall showing that included a successful District 7-3A title run and a first-round appearance in the Class 3A post-season.

“I would like to have seen us be able to continue in the playoffs, but nothing can take away from the success that we saw this season in going undefeated (10-0) through district play and came out of that with a No. 1 seed,” Ward said.
“There were a lot more positives than anything else when you look at what we were able to accomplish with these guys working hard on and off the field, and I’m appreciative for their sacrifices to get us where we finished.”

Among FC’s season high-points was a 13-game win streak that ran from March 7 through April 14 with the Dawgs sweeping district foes Hazlehurst, 19-0 and 12-2; Port Gibson, 20-1 and 13-0; Jefferson County, 16-0 and 20-0; Tylertown, 21-6 and 16-0; and Wesson, 6-2 and 11-8.
The Bulldogs entered the post-season late last month and faced off against the Forest High School Bearcats.
FC claimed a 14-10 victory in the first game of the playoffs on Tuesday, April 25 before falling twice to Forest, 13-8 and 6-5, in the best two-of-three series that concluded on Friday, April 28 and Sunday, April 30.
Several awards, based on statistical season records, were presented during the banquet:

• Top Pitcher – Dalton Meadows.

• Top Offensive Player – Donovan Moore.

• Top Fielders – Noah McCormick and Peyton Hebert.

• Bulldog Awards – Larry Pernell and Ridge Clanton.

Additionally, eight FC baseball players were chosen as All-District selections for the 2023 season, including Meadows, Moore, Pernell, McCormick, Jamari Tolliver and Quez Rancifer.
Terrance Fields and Carter Spring were named as All-District honorable mention choices for their efforts on the field.
Ward went on to note his pride in the FC seniors — including Clanton, McCormick, Pernell, Hebert and Dawson Halford — who, he said, had all dedicated several years to the program and whose shoes will be hard to fill as the program looks to its future.

“These seniors will always mean a great deal to me and I am proud of their contributions to building a solid foundation for years to come,” he continued. “They will certainly be missed and have set a high bar for those that will follow in their footsteps.”

Two senior team managers — Ayden Harrell and Anna Kate Hester — were also recognized.