By Jamie Wachter / Sports Editor
The Meridian Star
When he started the Golden Spikes Baseball Club in 2008, Monty McMullen was hoping the extra exposure could help lead to scholarship opportunities.
That success was on display Sunday at Oak Grove Southern Baptist Church where six of the seven Golden Spikes seniors that have signed national letters-of-intent were honored. Present were Union’s Zach Mowdy, Newton County’s Regan Warren, Wayne Academy’s Blake Pugh and Matt Trigg, as well as Brady Chambley and Landon Boyd. Will Myers, of Leake Academy, could not attend.
“These guys mean a lot to me personally and they mean a lot to our organization,” McMullen said while noting that there is currently more than 30 Golden Spikes alumni playing in the college ranks, highlighted by Southern Miss’ Michael Sterling and Alabama’s Kenny Roberts, both former Meridian High stars.
“It’s been an honor to watch them grow as a player and as a person. That’s what we try to to do with the Golden Spikes, we don’t just try to develop them as a player, but we try to help develop them as young men. And it’s all a credit to them. They’ve put in the hard work.”
Nobody took advantage of the opportunity more than Warren. In presenting Warren with this year’s Golden Spikes Award, which includes a $500 scholarship, McMullen explained why the Cougar standout and future East Central Community College Warrior stood out.
“All of these guys deserve an award, because I love all of them in their own way,” he said. “But this year was kind of easy because by the time this summer is over, I will say this guy will have played probably 120 games for the Golden Spikes.
“He just kept growing as a person and as a player.”
And all those extra games and extra reps have paid off, according to Warren.
“The Golden Spikes has really put me out there on the market for colleges and has really helped me get looked at,” he said, adding that the award caught him off guard. “And just the games and all the reps has really helped me. The live action is just so much better than taking ground balls.”