“Under the radar” used to be a common phase to describe Marbury baseball.
That’s no longer the case.
The Bulldogs — under the direction of coach Lyman Woodfin — have reached the AHSAA quarterfinals each of the past two seasons, including doing so this spring after leaping a pair of classifications from 3A to 5A.
“The guys have bought in,” Woodfin said. “The exposure they’re getting right now is a result of all the hard work they’ve put in and staying with the process. I walked into a good situation with the previous coach (Jerome Barrington) getting the program headed in the right direction.”
Now players are enjoying the spoils of their recent success. In Sunday’s Dixie Lions Club All-Star game at Paterson Field, Marbury standouts Colton Thomas and Ben Barrett were on the field to help the East record a 16-10 victory over the West.
For Thomas, it’s just the beginning of what he hopes turns into a productive summer on the recruiting front.
“This is huge for exposure,” said the junior infielder, who finished 1-for-5 with three RBIs and a steal. “Hopefully, I get noticed by some colleges, so that I can continue to play at the next level. It’s just an honor to get picked for these all-star games.”
Thomas will trek back to the Capital City to showcase his skills July 15-20 for the North-South baseball game during the 17th annual All-Star Sports Week, a series of prep sporting events that spotlights the state’s rising junior student-athletes.
“It’s going to be pretty huge,” said Thomas, who led Marbury in steals, batting and runs scored. “There’s going to be a lot of scouts, so hopefully I can perform well and get noticed. We’ve worked really hard to get to where we’re at right now.
“There are plenty of players from Marbury who deserved to be at these types of all-star games, but we just fly under the radar sometimes.”
Woodfin served as an assistant for last summer’s South team.
“(Thomas) is a real hard worker, and we’re glad to see him get that opportunity,” he said. “I wish they would’ve picked all of them because I’d like to think they all deserve it, but luckily they picked Colton. This is the reward for all the hard work they’ve put in.
“This summer is a big one for them because they’ll get seen a lot. You definitely want all the exposure you can get going into your senior year, so I am really glad that they got to play today because I know it will definitely help.”
An infielder/pitcher, Barrett views his teammate’s selection for All-Star Sport Week as just the beginning.
“We got a lot of talent at Marbury, so it’ll just bring us more looks,” he said. “Hopefully, we can keep this going into next year. Finally, Marbury is getting seen and everyone is getting looks now.”
Woodfin had a third player chosen for Sunday’s game, but Michael Peterson (hamstring) didn’t play due to injury.
Normally, coaches of the East-West game would pick the top players to advance for district competition, but no players were chosen following the final out. Individuals from Holtville, Wetumpka, G.W. Carver, St. James and Brewbaker Tech, among other local schools, participated in Sunday’s game.