Meridian Star

Sports

May 27, 2014

Locals flock to West Lauderdale for baseball fun

MERIDIAN — The West Lauderdale High School baseball team hosted a special event Monday night. Hundreds of local baseball flocked to Jerry Boatner Field to take in the festivities and were treated to a home run derby competition as well as a baseball contest between the 2007 West Lauderdale baseball state championship team squaring off against members of the 2014 championship squad and local products from surrounding high schools.

The benefit was put on for coach Derek Pouncey, who serves as an assistant football coach at the school and is currently in a fight with cancer. Pouncey is currently undergoing treatment, and all proceeds went to his benefits, including a silent auction in addition to t-shirt, food and drink sales.  

"We thought that these shirts would represent well in who coach Pouncey is," event organizer Kristy Wooldridge said of the t-shirts that read “Heart of a Champion.” "He has shown such strong courage."

A who's who list of local celebrities attended in support of the event, headlined by St. Louis Rams quarterback and 2007 WLHS graduate Austin Davis.

"It's just a lot of fun to be back at West Lauderdale," Davis said. "It's been a few years since I've seen some of these guys and I'm just trying to catch up, but it's been awesome."

Additionally, West Lauderdale softball coach Cary Luke participated, as well as 2014 graduates Mason Irby of Southeast Lauderdale High School, Ben Smith of Northeast Lauderdale High School, Aaron Garrett of Meridian High School and Levi Wedgeworth of Clarkdale High School.

"Ultimately that's why we're here," said Davis, who donated various Rams merchandise for the auction. "We're going to have a lot of fun and compete a little bit, but we're here to support and help (Pouncey) out to raise money. That's the ultimate goal."

Added Wooldridge, "Everyone came together and volunteered to help put on a great show. People donated food and drinks, and the baseball team a lot of things for us. The community has pulled together and supported this event like a family."

Tyler Vick, a 2007 WLHS graduate and current Northeast baseball assistant coach, sent the crowd into an early frenzy with his 11 home runs in Round 1.

But it was a pair of members of the 2007 West Lauderdale state champions that squared off in the finals.  Cody Freeman and Patrick Daugherty , 2007 WLHS graduates, faced off in the final round with Freeman smacking 11 home runs to Daugherty’s three to claim the top spot.

"Everyone came together and volunteered to help put on a great show," Wooldridge said. "People donated food and drinks, and the baseball team a lot of things for us. The community has pulled together and supported this event like a family."

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