Greensboro home to two All-State players

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 8, 2005

With Demopolis making its magical run to a 4A state title, it’s easy to forgive casual fans for forgetting that there’s plenty of other good baseball being played across the Black Belt. But fortunately, the Alabama Sports Writers Association aren’t casual fans, and the ASWA showed it last weekend by honoring two Greensboro-based players for their excellent seasons.

Thomas Langham, a Southern Academy senior, was named to the AISA All-State team as a first baseman. Greensboro High’s Jack Hazelrig capped off his career by being named Honorable Mention All-State at second base.

Langham, previously named to the AISA’s All-Tournament team at the state championship, said that the honor caught him somewhat off guard.

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“I wasn’t expecting it. It wasn’t something I was really worried about,” he said.

Southern Academy ended its season one game short of the state finals, losing to Shelby Academy in an elimination game. Langham says the recognition won’t make up for that disappointment, but that he’s glad for it all the same.

“I’m proud of it,” he says. “We shouldn’t have lost to Shelby. We should have won state. But it’s still something I’m proud of.”

For Hazelrig, whose recognition comes comes on the heels of being selected to take part in the East-West All-Star Championship tourney in Birmingham, the honor has come about after years of dedication and many long hours spent on the ballfield with his father, Greensboro High coach Jack Hazelrig

“It helps a lot,” he said. “It’s nice to see hard work come back to reward you, I guess.”

Like Langham and the Demopolis players named All-State, Hazelrig hadn’t been expectingto see his name listed wit hthe best the state has to offer.

“I thought I had a pretty good season,” he said, “but I didn’t think I’d be selected for something like that.”

His father-slash-coach says that just because Hazelrig didn’t quite join the Demopolis players on the 4A All-State team, it doesn’t mean it’s an empty honor.

“He had a good season and I’m glad to see him recognized,” the elder Hazelrig says. “It’s Honorable Mention, but when you look at all the teams and all those players in the state, Honorable Mention’s pretty good… I’m really proud of him.”

Likewise, Southern Academy coach Steve King says that Langham is a complete player who’s put in the effort to be where he is today, and where he’ll end up in the future.

“He deserves everything he gets,” he said. “He’s got a lot of good things coming to him. He barely missed being the salutatorian of his class. His future is still ahead of him.”