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Oxford’s Championship Baseball Team Scores Big: Two Top Honors at NFHS/ALABCA Banquet

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Oxford, AL – Fresh off of adding three more college signees, Oxford’s ’23 baseball team to pick up two more awards at NFHS/ALABCA banquet on Friday

By Joe Medley

Oxford’s 2023 state-championship baseball team recently added three college signees, and the Yellow Jackets will receive two prestigious awards Friday.

Wes Brooks will receive National Federation of State High School Association/Alabama Baseball Coaches Association coach of the year and ALABCA Sammy Dunn Award.

Hayes Harrison, the 2023 Alabama Sports Writers Association Mr. Baseball and Gatorade Player of the Year for Alabama, will receive ALABCA player of the year.

The awards will be presented at the NFHS/ALABCA banquet Friday at Birmingham’s Wynfrey Hotel.

“A coach is only as good as his players and his assistant coaches, so really and truly this award goes to all of the Oxford baseball family for the outstanding hardworking and dedication that was put in to making this season happen and making this award possible,” Brooks said.

This comes a month after three current seniors signed to play college ball: Carter Johnson (Alabama), R.J. Brooks (Jacksonville State) and Forrest Heacock (Snead State Community College).

With the thee signings on Nov. 10, Oxford’s 2023 Class 6A state championship team has produced eight. Five 2023 seniors signed time a year ago: Sam Robertson (Auburn), Peyton Watts (Troy), Drew McCormick (Jacksonville State), Hayes Harrison (Northwest Shoals Community College) and Jackson Crow (East Mississippi Community College).

Three more members of that team have committed: Eli Bozeman and Hudson Gilman (Jacksonville State) and Nick Richardson (South Alabama).

Johnson was one of 40 players selected for a 18U Team USA training camp roster over the summer.

Oxford finished the 2023 season with its second Class 6A state title, tying a school record with 39 wins. The Yellow Jackets won their final 19 games, including all 10 playoff games.

The team received its championship rings Nov. 10.

Brooks’ 18-year run as Oxford’s head coach included Class 6A state titles in 2012 and 2023. He moved into administration in May, assuming full-time duties as supervisor of safety, operations and athletics for Oxford City Schools.

Oxford hired former Austin Peay State University head coach and Jacksonville State assistant Travis Janssen to replace Brooks.

“I am very grateful and thankful for Barry Dean and the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association for this recognition, and I am especially very thankful to be recognized for the Sammy Dunn Memorial Award!” Brooks said. “Coach Dunn was one of the first coaches in Alabama that made baseball  a big deal.  In this part of the country he is known as the Godfather of high school baseball.

“The Coach Dunn legacy lives on year to year, not only in this state but throughout the entire country.”

Harrison went 13-0 with a 1.28 ERA as a senior. The lefty struck out 82 batters while allowing 43 hits and 11 walks in 71 innings.

At the plate, he batted .382 with nine doubles, 38 RBIs and a .497 on-base percentage.


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