Rebels take home state baseball championship

Published 9:37 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2024

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The Lowndes Academy Rebels defeated Wilcox Academy 2-0 (11-7, 2-0) to bring home the Alabama Independent School Associations Class A State Championship Tuesday. The victory, captured on Patterson Field in Montgomery, follows a state championship win in 2023 and bumps the Rebels area record to 11-2 and 32-7 overall.

Coach Shane Moye expressed his pride in the team members who worked hard for the win.

“We’ve played really well all season,” Moye said. “This makes back-to-back seasons we have won 30 games. It’s a sign of the type of kids we’ve got; they fight to the end.”

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The team fielded five seniors through the season — Clayton Hussey, Cooper Dansby, Dominic Dougan, Jase Howard and Pierson Hill — young men who Moye said play for the team and serve as mentors to younger players.

“They hold each other accountable,” Moye said. “It’s a collaborative effort. All five seniors have done a good job of keeping adversity and negativity out. They are always picking each other up and trust in each other.”

A few of the team’s younger players have stepped up to the plate, Moye noted. Among them are sophomores Brian Stokes and Grant Casey.

“Grant has been our catcher all year,” Moye said. “He’s been a big part of our success because of how well he catches and controls the run game.”

Moye pointed out that Cooper Carver, the team’s designated hitter, has been strong. Ashton Yelder, who is a Division One baseball commit, carries himself well regardless of the outcome.

“He’s the one you can never tell how he’s playing,” Moye said. “He hides his emotions, and he leads that way. It carries over to the rest of the team.”

Looking ahead, Moye expects the team to do well next season, in spite of losing five seniors.

“Part of having a program that’s successful is that you’ve got to continue to work and hope it trickles down,” Moye said. “The older kids learn how to carry their business and everybody kind of follows in. You can really see that in all our sports. The kids have the mindset of, ‘Hey it’s my turn. We’re supposed to win. It doesn’t matter who’s here and who’s not.’ That’s the standard and how we’re supposed to play.”

That “can-do” attitude has proved successful at Lowndes Academy, where the student athletes won AISA state championships in football (third in a row), girls’ basketball, baseball and softball. 

“That has a lot to do with our success,” Moye said. “The kind of mentality our seniors have is remarkable. What they’ve accomplished in all sports is truly amazing. They’ve done a great job leading and showing the younger kids how you’re supposed to get to that [state] level. It’s made a huge difference on our team because the other kids are starting to carry themselves the same way.”