Seniors’ friendship leaves lasting memories

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 27, 2005

Some of them have been playing baseball together as long as they can remember. Some of them have been teammates since they were in the second grade. Some of them didn’t join up until high school.

But that doesn’t mean the bond between any two of Demopolis’s 2005 senior class of baseball players, the school’s most successful ever, is weaker than any other. At a collective interview with all 10 of DHS’s champion seniors, the players agreed that that kind of one-for-all-and-all-for-one spirit that they’ll remember long after the cheering has stopped.

“The thing I’ll remember most is how much fun we had,” says second baseman Bart Pettus. “We all got along so well, even practice was fun. We’d cut up the whole time.”

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“For me, it’s the friendship,” says Clarke Kerby. “Even when we’re not out on the field, we’re going to be together somewhere.”

“The unity we’ve had,” says outfielder Darrel Kent, “is something I’ll never forget.”

That kind of connection, the players say, doesn’t just make winning the state championship more meaningful–it made the championship possible in the first place.

“I think it comes down to trust,” says outfielder Chris Wasson. “When you know each other this well, you trust that other people are going to do their job. And that lets you just focus on your job and not worry about anyone else. You also know that even if you do make a mistake, your teammates are going to be right there to pick you up.”

Outfielder G.W. Washington says that when a team is tied together that strongly, one teammate performing at a higher level means that before long, the entire team will be performing at that level.

“When one person on this team hits,” he says, “then everybody’s hitting.”

A great example of that, the players say, is their amazing rally against Thomasville in the bottom of the sixth inning during the state semifinals. After a strikeout and a pop-up took DHS down to their final four outs of the game, a three-run homer by Seth Basinger jump-started an inning in which the Tigers would send 16 batters to the plate and score 12 runs.

Pitcher Devin Goodwin says what when he looks back on this season and his career at DHS, that memory will be the first thing he thinks of.

“When everybody’s hitting like that, you just kind of stop thinking. I got on second before Seth hit his second home run, and I remember looking over at Thomasville and seeing the looks on their faces,” he says. “What I’ll remember is that we found a way to win when it counted the most…all the key games where we came back and won.”

The seniors recounted various experiences that they expect will stay with them through the years: watching Basinger’s winning home run claim the state title; the groups first state regional youth league titles; Coach Moody celebrating the championship with what a few players called

“the donkey dance.” Washington said “the first thing he remembers” about the 2005 seniors was how, in youth league baseball, “they welcomed me onto their local team with open arms, even though they’d never seen me.”

It’s that kind of friendliness that helped create the unity that has carried the 2005 champions. It’s a unity that, has, however, also led to a very unique memory for Basinger.

“I’ll never forget the feeling,” he says, “of bring dogpiled on home plate.”

The 2005 Demopolis senior baseball players are Chris Wasson, Chad Schroeder, Bart Pettus, G.W. Washington, Seth Basinger, Clarke Kerby, Devin Goodwin, Darrell Kent, Colby Roberts, and William Meador.