The 2014-15 high school sports season culminated with the inaugural Best of MS Preps banquet last week. Mississippi’s top prep athletes were honored among over 1,500 selected to The Clarion-Ledger’s All-State teams from 22 sports.
Looking back at the last 10 months, there are several moments that defined a historic year of high school sports in Mississippi. Here’s a look at the top 10 that we’ll remember for years to come.
1. Jason Barber’s 0.00 ERA
The Ole Miss commit made history his junior year by recording a 0.00 ERA, which is the best in state history. The previous record earned in 1996 by Pascagoula’s Blair Varnes was 0.10. Barber’s dominance on the mound helped Oxford capture its first state championship since 2005.
2. Newman’s record-setting career
Whether it was dropping 50 points in from of Kentucky’s John Calipari during the JPS Holiday Tournament or becoming the first player to win four consecutive MHSAA basketball championships, Malik Newman ended his prep career as the most accomplished high school basketball player in Mississippi history. The Callaway star scored over 3,100 points in his career and represented the Magnolia State internationally, earning back-to-back gold medals and MVP honors with Team USA in 2013 and 2014.
3. Hailey Lunderman caps off HS career with walk-off
The Neshoba Central shortstop ended her high school career in poetic fashion by crushing a walk-off hit in Game 2 of the Class 5A championship. With her final hit for the Lady Rockets, Lunderman helped Neshoba Central earn its third straight fast-pitch title to go along with three consecutive slow-pitch championships.
4. Jackson Prep football honors fallen teammate with third straight title
The Patriots’ story of triumph after tragedy captured the entire state of Mississippi during the 2014 football season. After the death of junior defensive tackle Walker Wilbanks, Jackson Prep rallied to a 12-2 record and won its third straight MAIS AAA championship and 21st in program history.
5. Monica Mosley shatters 300-meter hurdles record
Clinton girls track and field is on its way to dynasty status after winning its third straight MHSAA state championship. The Lady Arrows finished first in seven different events at the state meet, but junior sprinter Monica Mosley stole the show with her record-breaking time in the 300-meter hurdles. Mosley smashed the state record by nearly two-seconds (41.78) and recorded the country’s seventh-fastest time in the event this year.
6. Cecil Hinds makes history…again
The Madison Central boys and girls soccer coach made history in 2014 by leading the Jaguars and Lady Jaguars to Class 6A titles. This season, Hinds one-upped himself by winning back-to-back championships with both programs. Both of Hinds’ teams captured the No. 1 rankings in Mississippi and were recognized among the top programs in the country by MaxPreps.
7. Myles Brennan breaks single-season passing/touchdown record
St. Stanislaus may have lost the Class 4A championship, but its stud sophomore quarterback put up enough offense to break Mississippi’s single-season record for passing and touchdowns. In the championship game, Brennan completed 33 of 55 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns to set the new record at 5,761 passing yards and 64 touchdowns.
8. East Webster wins six state championships
Cue the madness in Maben. The Wolverines capped off a remarkable 2014-15 school year with six MHSAA state championships in baseball, girls basketball, slow-pitch, fast-pitch, tennis and cheerleading.
9. Mississippi boasts one of the top boys golfers in the world
Davis Riley’s accomplishments in high school had international reach as the Presbyterian Christian golfer was ranked the No. 3 junior golfer in the world. The Alabama commit joined Tiger Woods and Jordan Speith in 2014 as the only golfers to appear in the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship in back-to-back years. Riley also won the MAIS AAA individual title with a 9-under par (63) at the Greenwood Country Club.
10. Mia Kent dominates 5A singles for a fourth straight year
In Class 5A singles, no one is better than Ridgeland’s Mia Kent. The senior captured her fourth straight state championship with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Oxford’s Grace Anne Jones and is headed to Southern University to continue her playing career.
Contact Courtney Cronin at (601) 961-7091 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @CourtneyRCronin on Twitter.