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Apr. 29—Jackson McCoy reminds Booneville baseball coach Kevin Williams a lot of Conner Davis.

A player with modest career batting stats, McCoy is having a monster senior season as the playoffs begin today.

He’s batting .513 with with four home runs and 34 RBIs. It’s the kind of season Davis had two years ago as a senior for the Blue Devils, when he hit .506 with 27 stolen bases and 41 runs scored.

“That’s one of the best players I’ve ever had, and one of the best seasons I’ve ever seen a guy have at the plate,” said Williams. “But Jackson has not only got a little bit higher average, but he’s hit 12 doubles, five triples and four home runs. It’s just unreal.”

McCoy hit .277 as a freshman and .259 as a sophomore. He was hitting .321 through nine games last year before COVID-19 shut everything down.

He’s also been a force on the mound, mostly out of the bullpen, although he tossed a three-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts against Corinth last Friday.

For the season, McCoy has a 0.43 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings.

“I think our guys feel pretty confident if he’s out there on the mound,” Williams said. “No matter what he’s doing, he gives everybody on the field that feeling that we’ve got a pretty good chance to win.”

Booneville (16-10), ranked No. 10 by the Daily Journal, opens the Class 3A playoffs today against Hatley.

Toppers tackle spring

Baylor Dampeer wasn’t afforded a spring football period in his first year as head coach at Houston, so he is certainly excited to get that chance now.

The Hilltoppers are a full week into the spring practice season and looking to build on last year’s outcome, where they went 5-6 with a first-round playoff exit in Class 3A.

“Finally getting the chance to put our stamp on it,” Dampeer said. “I think what we do offensively and the system we use in all, we’re going to be way further ahead this year than we were last year.”

Dampeer is using the spring to develop younger, less experienced players, as he lost 16 seniors, including all-area selection Shemar Crawford. He’s having to do it all with 12 players in the midst of the baseball playoffs, and that includes starting quarterback Red Parker.

He has star running back Jalen Washington, though. Dampeer expects a huge jump from the rising sophomore, who will be showcased when Houston visits Itawamba AHS for a scrimmage on May 13 to conclude the spring.

“I think the sky is the limit for him right now,” said Dampeer.

Coaching move

Pontotoc assistant baseball coach Chase Clark has been hired to lead Bruce’s program. He replaces Cody Brownlee, who’s been head coach the last three years.

The Trojans are 9-15 entering the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs. They opened play Wednesday against Northside.

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