Getting just one athlete on the All-Region Team is an accomplishment, but having seven is certainly over the top. The Jackson County Comprehensive High School baseball team ran away with the post-season honors as four were named to the AAA All-Region First Team and three made the second team roster.
“Anytime your guys can get recognition, it’s a good thing for the program. We expected our seniors and Nick Corso to produce and have great year,” said head coach Tommy Fountain. “It’s clearly a good thing when you’ve got seven guys get post-season recognition with four of them being first-time varsity starters.”
“Nick Corso was our table setter. He [was] a slow starter at the plate early in the year but he battled through some early struggles and still helped us with some really clutch hits, including a few game-winners. Then, late in the year, he was tough to get out. When he’s on the bases, it really causes havoc for the defense,” Fountain said.
Freshman Coleman Barbee wanted to make a statement in his first year of high school ball and there was no shortage on his highlight reel. He may be one year removed from middle school but he made his presence felt on the mound to opposing teams all season long.
“I can’t say enough about the year Coleman Barbee had on the mound. Coming out of last summer, he was going to be our No. 3 or 4,” said Fountain. “He took advantage of the time he had in the winter to get ready and simply passed some other guys. We had to have somebody step up like Coleman did to get us to the point we reached. Of course, the fact that he is just a freshman makes it even better.”
Second and third baseman Jacob Banks, along with outfielder Ben Brissey and do-it-all athlete Chandler Malecki, garnered a spot on the second team. Malecki recently signed with Thomas University in Thomasville. It didn’t take long for recruiters to recognize his talent and the coaches who voted for this award saw it, too. Fountain also noted the job Banks and Brissey did in their first year on the varsity team.
“It is also an honor for Jacob Banks and Ben Brissey to make the second team. Both guys had to be productive to give us a chance to win. We knew they could be productive. The crazy thing is both of those guys still have a ton of room to get better,” said Fountain.
Chase Dunlap and Joel Ellis were also First-Team honorees.