But the lone dissenter in recommending Oxford as the top seed in the upcoming Calhoun County baseball tournament was silenced rather quickly at a seeding meeting among local coaches Sunday in Donoho’s media center.
“I nominated Jacksonville because they won it (last year),” Yellow Jackets coach Wes Brooks said. “Then immediately three or four others came and said, ‘No, Oxford’s No.1’.”
With five Division I signees, including three set to play at SEC schools, and two other players who inked it up with junior colleges on its roster, giving Class 6A Oxford the top-spot seemed like a given among the county coaches in attendance.
“We’re the biggest school and we don’t have a 5A school in the county, and then 4A is next. I guess everybody thinks the biggest school should be the No. 1 seed,” Brooks said. “And we’ve got a pretty good team. We’ve got some pretty good players. So I wasn’t going to argue with them.”
Oxford (3-4) will have a bye when the first round of the tournament begins Friday. It will face either No. 8 Pleasant Valley (2-2) or No. 9 Weaver (0-0) in the second round Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Henry Farm in Jacksonville.
Defending champion Jacksonville (1-2) is seeded second. The Golden Eagles will host No. 15 Jacksonville Christian (0-0) Friday at 4:30 p.m. in their opening round game.
“This is a completely different team,” seventh-year Jacksonville coach David Deerman said. “We’ve got some guys returning but this is the first team that I’ve ever had since I’ve been in coaching where I don’t have a senior on the team. Right now, we’re just trying to find an identity with our team and some consistency.”
Alexandria (2-2) and Piedmont (1-3) are seeded third and fourth. The Valley Cubs will host No. 14 Faith Christian (0-2) at 7 p.m. while the Bulldogs will face No. 13 Sacred Heart (1-1) at 7 p.m. at Henry Farm in the first round.
No. 5 Saks (2-2) will entertain No. 12 Anniston (1-2) to start the tournament. White Plains, typically a power, is off to a slow start at 0-4. The Wildcats will face No. 11 Donoho (1-0) at Oxford at 4:30 p.m.. White Plains lost five starters to graduation, four of which were four-year starters, off a team that reached the third-round of the state playoffs.
“I think it may a bit too high,” White Plains coach Chad Hudson said of his team’s seed. “We have not played well in any facet of the game. We, obviously, lost a lot from last year’s team. We’re struggling to replace them. We’re looking for answers.
No. 7 Wellborn (3-1) takes on No. 10 Ohatchee (2-2) at Alexandria at 4:30 p.m. in the first round.
The quarterfinals and semifinals are set for Saturday and next Monday and the final will be at 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday. All of those games will be at Henry Farm.
Nick Birdsong covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575. Follow him on Twitter @birds_word.