Members of first PRC baseball team presents rings to the first state champions
Published 7:00 am Saturday, September 9, 2017
When Pearl River Central’s baseball team won the program’s first state championship last season, the Blue Devils’ fan base erupted with excitement, but no individual or group was more elated than the brothers and teammates who were part of the first Blue Devils’ baseball team 40 years prior.
Last Friday, the 2016 5A state champions received their championship rings from a group of men who started it all. In 1977, Pat Posey and his brothers Steve and Mike along with other friends like Kent Kirkland and Marty Lee, wanted to form a high school baseball team at PRC.
Posey said the group of eager athletes went before PRC’s principal and asked if they could form the official team. The high schoolers had everything planned out, with friends and brothers willing to jump on board and play on the diamond.
The only thing they lacked was a coach.
After leaving the principal’s office, Posey said there was little hope that their dream would come to fruition, until the assistant principal rushed over to the group and said, “I would gladly coach this team.”
“That was it, we finally had every piece to the puzzle. It was an exciting time for us,” Posey said.
However, with only a handful of experienced players, the first season went as expected, ending with a losing record. But that wasn’t a concern for any of the founding members. They knew they just started something special and had a feeling the program was destined to become one of the best in the state.
On May 20, 2016, that destiny was fulfilled as PRC displayed a miraculous fourth inning performance that pushed them past Oxford, 7-3, hoisting the first ever Blue Devils’ state championship trophy in baseball.
“I’ve played and coached baseball, and through my experience, I know how difficult it is to win a state championship,” Posey said. “What they did last year was outstanding. They were matched up against a great team and just simply outplayed them. You could tell that those Blue Devils wanted it more.”
Last week, Posey and a few of his former teammates from 1977 had the honor of handing out the rings to each player from last year’s season and coach on the state championship team before sharing memories of that inaugural year. Pat Posey’s brother Mike Posey had a large smile while handing out the rings because he saw how far this program has come.
“Before the ceremony, we all got together and talked about all the great memories we had playing baseball together and how fun it was to have those experiences. It’s something we will always remember,” Mike Posey said, who was an 8th grade manager and score keeper for the 1977 team.
While the founding fathers reminisced, Mike Posey said he glanced over at the young championship teammates to see them doing the same thing; laughing and enjoying the memories they shared as teammates.
“It’s funny how life comes full circle,” Mike Posey said.
From here, the Poseys and the rest of the 1977 team wish the Blue Devils the best of luck heading into next season as the reigning champs.
They hope to hand out more rings in the near future, and are excited to watch the Blue Devils’ program continue to rise.
“I want to thank Alan Lumpkin and the PRC School District for allowing us to be a part of this. Meeting those young men and the coaches was such an honor and to be able to hand them those rings an amazing feeling,” Pat Posey said. “Go Blue Devils.”