Ripley’s Chapman competes in State Games of Mississippi

MERIDIAN – Ripley Tiger outfielder Chase Chapman helped Mississippi High School Activities Association’s District I team place third in the State Games of Mississippi Baseball Tournament held June 25 – 28 in Meridian. Tiger Head Coach Jamie Russell, who helped coach the team, joined Chapman. The State Games of Mississippi is a yearly athletic event that showcases the best amateur talent in Mississippi. The event began in 1992. Approximately 60 players tried out for a spot on the team at Northeast Mississippi Community College in early June. Chapman was one of only 18 players to make the final cut. “It was a fun experience,” said Chapman. “We practiced two or three times at Northeast before going to Meridian. We did a showcase for the scouts on Wednesday. They ran the practices. We got to stay in the dorms at Meridian Community College and there were a lot of good players out there.” The District I team competed in the double elimination tournament against the seven other districts that make up the MHSAA. The tournament featured some of the Mississippi’s top high school players. Ripley coach Jamie Russell took note of the talent on the field, but said his starting left fielder, who moved to centerfield for the tournament, fit in perfectly. “It was a good one (tournament). All baseball everyday–either coaching or watching– and you got to see the best baseball players in the state.” “He (Chase) was just as good as anyone down there,” said Russell. “He hit the ball well, and it was a good experience for him.” Chapman hit .500 during the tournament for a team comprised of sophomore and junior players from schools such as Corinth, Pontotoc, North Pontotoc, and Hamilton. During the 2009 baseball season, Chapman had eight multiple hit games including one three-hit game. He had two home runs to go along with six doubles on the year. Chapman was a first team All-Division and All-County selection after helping lead the Tigers to a second consecutive appearance in the Class 3A playoffs. According to the State Games of Mississippi’s website, www.stategamesofms.org, over 50, 000 of Mississippi’s finest amateur athletes have competed in the games across the state in its 17-year history. Baseball is one of 29 competitive sports played each year. Sports range from martial arts to equestrian to barrel racing. The State Games of Mississippi is a non-profit organization and is primarily funded through sponsorships and contributions. All participants must be a resident of Mississippi for at least 30 days prior to the first day of competition in their sport. Entry forms and information are available at sporting facilities throughout Mississippi. For more information on the State Games of Mississippi, visit their website or call 1-800-482-0205.

Kedrick Storey/Southern Sentinel