Hate to see senior athletes go

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 6, 2001

Sports Columnist

Congratulations to all the high school seniors in Pike County who picked up their diplomas last week.

We’re going to miss you! Hopefully, many of you will stay around home and go to Troy State.

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Big Von Ewing, of course, is heading to the Capstone this fall to play football for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Ewing will also be playing in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game that will be held in Mobile in a few weeks. The 6-5, 296 pound tackle has a very good future ahead of him at Alabama.

Another former Charles Henderson Trojan heading to play college football is quarterback Kevin Stephens. Stephens signed a scholarship with East Central Community College in Decatur, Miss. I was hoping Stephens would walk-on at Troy State, but I can understand that he wants to play early and the junior college route is a good way to go.

The quality of football played by the 10 Mississippi junior colleges is right there with the two year schools in California, Kansas and Arizona. These are some of the top junior college football programs in the nation.

It would tickle me to see Stephens, CHHS’s all-time career passing leader, come back and play for TSU one day. Stephens passed for over 1,600 yards and 16 touchdowns in his senior year.

Several Trojans are looking to walk-on and play football in college including Ziad Rollins, Trevon Hemphill and Will Jones,

Hemphill, at 6-5 and Jones, who has spectacular speed and hands, were excellent high school receivers. Rollins has already made his feelings known to the TSU coaches that he plans to walk-on and hopefully, Hemphill and Jones will follow suit.

Goshen’s outstanding basketball and football star Jamar Tucker plans on attending Tennessee Tech this fall. Tucker could be a two-sport star at Tech. He’s another one I wish had stayed home so I could watch him play.

CHHS’s Kelly Miller has made her intentions known that she’s heading to Southern Union Community College in Wadley. Miller, one of Charles Henderson’s best ever female athletes, will play both basketball and softball, two of the three sports she excelled in while at CHHS.

Charles Henderson’s David Taylor has signed a scholarship to play at Wallace State Community College in Dothan. Taylor starred as a right handed pitcher for the Trojans’ baseball team these last two seasons.

It looks like Jason "Red" Barron is going to Enterprise to play baseball. Barron was an outstanding catcher for CHHS this past spring as well as the nose guard for the football team. Norman Grubbs will have an opportunity to show his football skills at Sewanee University of Tennessee.

Good luck to all of you senior athletes that received your diplomas. We enjoyed watching you play.

I picked up some news in the U.S.A Today on Wednesday that will not sit well with Brian Meadows’ fans, including myself.

Meadows, Troy’s favorite son and right handed pitcher for the Kansas City Royals, has been optioned down to the Royal’s AAA Omaha team.

Meadows, who starred four years at Charles Henderson High School, was a 13 game winner last season with San Diego and then Kansas City, following a mid-year trade. He has had a slow start this season with the Royals. His record after 10 starts is 1-6 and his ERA was 6.97.

"I’m shocked," Meadows said in the official news release by the Royals. "I thought I might be going to the bullpen. I didn’t know I was going to the minors."

I hate it for Meadows, but at the same time I think this move is temporary. He’ll be back in the Royals’ rotation before you know it. His problem has been that he has yet to play on a winning team that can score runs.

His control has been good, but he’s given up a team-high 12 home runs. In 46 innings pitched, he’s struck out 21 batters and walked only 12. His only victory thus far in the year was over the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, 8-3.

Here’s hoping Meadows will be back with the Kansas City team, or hopefully some other team that can score runs for him.

On a happy note, Jennifer Sikes, widow of the late Terry Sikes, gave birth to a baby boy Wednesday morning. Although young "Trott" Sikes came into this world five weeks early, both mother and son are doing well.

I plan on watching that young man grow up and one day, if the Lord’s willing, I’m going to tell him what a special person his dad Terry was.