Lofton’s work reaps just rewards
JACKSON — For Calhoun Academy senior Erick Lofton, the MPSA Class A All-Star game wasn’t the close to his highly successful high school athletic career he had hoped for, but being named to the North All-Star roster was a fitting honor for the multi-sport standout athlete.
The South took a 4-1 advantage over the North on a double to right by Tallulah Academy’s Owen Clark before the South ultimately won a rain-shortened game 9-4 when heavy rains washed out the final two innings of play at Smith-Wills Stadium.
“We lost, but they called the game in the seventh so who knows what could have happened,” said the ultra-competitive Lofton. “We missed some opportunities and didn’t get the timely hits we needed to be able to win.”
Erick played in right-field for three innings only got one at bat during the game.
“I tripped out of the box and almost fell down, but still almost beat the throw to first,” Lofton.
Will Watkins of Hebron Christian earned MVP honors for the North by scoring three of the team’s four runs. Porter’s Chapels Clayton Holmes was named South MVP.
Lofton said the highlight of the weekend was when North Delta’s head coach and former Ole Miss Rebel Stoney Stone beat the top two North All-Star batters in the team’s home run derby.
The honor of being named to the North All-Star roster closes out a Lofton’s long run in Calhoun Academy athletics, a career that began in the fourth grade as a member of the pee-wee football team.
Lofton started for the Cougar baseball team ever since he was in the seventh grade and played every position on the field except for first base throughout his career.
“I played everywhere,” said Lofton. “As my arm got stronger they moved me around more and more, but this past season I mainly pitched in the division games and played at third and shortstop when I wasn’t pitching.”
It was almost a season that never was for the senior.
Having a history of back problems, Erick went to the doctor after the football season when he started experiencing numbness and discovered he had five bulging disk in his back.
“It started close to the last football game, but I played through it. Then it kept getting worse during basketball practice… I went to the doctor and ended up having to sit out the basketball season,” Lofton said.
He battled through the injuries to finish his senior season on the diamond with a .920 fielding percentage, 2.9 ERA, and .580 batting average.
Erick will attend Mississippi College where he plans to try to walk-on the baseball team.
The South All-Stars demolished the North 26-5 in the Class AA/AAA game.