By Tony Tsoukalas / Sports Writer
The Meridian Star
As silly-string rained down on the Neshoba Central players following their 2-1 series-clinching win against Wayne County to secure the Class 5A State Title, Rockets head coach Trae Embry could not help but think it was less of an ending and more of a beginning for the program.
The Rockets will only lose two seniors from this years team, as Embry is already thinking about turning Neshoba Central into a yearly powerhouse in the state.
“We hope we are back next year,” Embry said. “You never know with injuries or anything else, but we are a young team and we will certainly have the opportunity.”
In his first season as head coach for the Rockets, Embry has installed a new sense of work ethic to the team.
“These kids have really worked their tails off,” Embry said. “This year, only one varsity player has missed a practice since July. That really says a lot about them and how dedicated they are to getting better.”
After pitcher Mallory Tucker went down with an injury earlier in the season, the Rockets were in a bind, needing someone to step up and fill the hole.
Meshay Jimmie was that girl, as the former outfielder stepped into the circle to lead the Rockets.
“One thing we talked about when I got hired was we were going to play as a team,” Embry said. “That means playing were the team needs you. We were really unselfish this year, and we did what we needed to do.”
With a championship already under their belt, the Rockets now know what it takes to win. “The players were hungry for success this season,” Embry said. “After today, I think they have really seen that hard work really does pay off.”