Magnolia Academy Baseball: Welcome

Saturday, August 14
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Jeff McClaskey, 1981

This site reviews the accomplishments of the great Magnolia Academy baseball teams from 1977-1982. I need copies of old articles, pictures that I can scan and return to you (make sure your name and address are on the back), etc.

Send them to: Rick Clarke, 115 Warrior Lane, Clinton, MS, 39056 or email to hccbball@yahoo.com.

Click on the "Table of Contents" to look around or use the menu bar on the left of the screen.

Check back from time-to-time as articles and photos are added to the site.



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Stan Prewitt, 1979

Magnolia Academy baseball is a class act

By Dean Landeche
Jackson Daily News Focus
March 29, 1979

At Magnolia Academy, the baseball field is immaculate, and the equipment is the best around. Batters take practice swings inside the gym in a portable hitting cage. The team uses four different kinds of baseballs.

The term that best describes the set-up is "first class." And that's exactly how baseball coach Rick Clarke likes it. First rate and on top.

"If you asked anybody about Magnolia Academy a couple of years ago, they would have said 'Who?' Now our opponents know who we are," Clarke says.

For those who don't know who or what Magnolia Academy is, a simple introduction is in order.

Meet the Magnolia Academy Raiders, winners of 53 games against only 17 losses in three years. Meet also Rick Clarke, head baseball coach and public relations specialist.

"The way I like to describe the program is first rate. It's a first class operation. That's the only way to describe it," Clarke says.

An no one disagrees. Three years ago, when Clarke came to Magnolia, the baseball team, and most every other sport, was in shambles.

"The first day I came out here, I had never seen such ridiculous looking baseball players. I saw some talent, but it needed a little direction. The entire program was a mess," Clarke remembers.

Three years ago, no one took an interest in Magnolia Academy baseball. And almost no one watched Magnolia Academy baseball.

Today, the situation is reversed. About 200 people were on hand recently to watch the Raiders pillage and plunder their way to 11-1 and 17-1 victories over Porter's Chapel.

Included in that group were Barefoot, Buggs, Brown, and Christie, all students at Magnolia and all avid fans.

Brown says the Magnolia catcher will go pro. Barefoot agrees. Buggs worries because his is the yearbook photographer and missed what he termed "the best play of the season" at home plate. Christie watches a certain pitcher with a gleam in her eye, begging Buggs or anybody with a camera to take his picture.

And Clarke basks in the recognition his team is getting.

"If you can get a program going that generates some excitement and makes some progress, then you've accomplished something," Clarke says.

Excitement and progress abound when it comes to Magnolia Academy baseball. And with the two come the recognition that Clarke desperately wants for his program.

"We're a school of just 400, and we're getting calls from major colleges asking about our players," Clarke says. "They like our discipline, consistency, and sound fundamentals."

While developing his ideas in college, Clarke's playing days were numbered. After playing for two years at Hinds Junior College, Clarke tranferred to Mississippi College to focus on his studies and prepare for a future in coaching.

In fact, Clarke was first hired to coach at Magnolia while he was still a student at M.C. I think they just wanted a coach...one they could afford, but I don't think they realized how well the baseball team would do.

The team has repainted the locker room, and Clarke, team members, and parents have completely rebuilt the baseball field...from the new dugouts to the "Magnolia Academy Baseball" sign in center field.

Between the construction tasks, the Raiders have somehow found time to play eight baseball games and garner a 7-1 record. More impressive are the 86 runs they have scored in the winning process. In one recent game, the first inning took an hour and 10 minutes to complete, with the Raiders jumping to a 17-0 lead.

Yet Clarke still rants and raves occassionally about inconsistency.

"We just simply want to be 'the best'," Clarke says.

Note: The 1979 team finished 31-3 and won the Academy AA State championship for the first time. It was the first of three consecutive state championships.


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Magnolia Coach Rick Clarke gives star player Ricky Chisolm a few pointers

Saturday, November 20
Most Memorable Moments....

Send your most memorable Magnolia Academy Baseball moments (on and off the field) to me at hccbball@yahoo.com.

Examples:

26 championships in six seasons....unprecedented.

When the Raiders became the first high school team to win 40 games in a season in 1981 (40-5).

Spud's (Billy Williams) pinch-hit, squeeze bunt to beat Lamont Echols' Brandon Academy Rebels 7-6 in 1977 to tie for the conference championship and force a best-of-three playoff.

Stan Prewitt's solo home run in the top of the seventh to win the Parklane series and send us to our first state championship series against Greenville Christian in 1979.

Stan's line drive off Brandon pitcher's Tim Schutz' head that ended up in left field.

That 17-0 win over Parklane in the '79 playoffs.

The heartbreaking loss to Parklane in game 3 of the South Mississippi playoffs at Natchez in 1978. The Pioneer's Mike Minton hit a pitch down and out of the strike zone for a game winning home run off Ricky Chisolm.

Ricky Chisolm walking three Brandon hitters in a row with a one-run lead in the bottom of the seventh (at Brandon) so he could pitch to Mike Chambliss who was heckling him. He struck him out on three pitches.

Rod Hudson's monster home run over the lights at Brandon Academy.

Winning 14 of 15 games, including twelve games in a row against arch-rival Brandon Academy from 1978-80.

Raider pitchers Ricky Chisolm, Tim McMillian, and Shannon Rast pitching four consecutive shutouts in the State Championship series against Greenville Christian in 1979 and Humphreys in 1980.

The 18-17 win over Manhattan in the Brandon Tournament in 1977 after trailing early in the game 9-0. Chuck Atkins singled home Rod Hudson with the winning run in the seventh. Rob Harrell drove in six runs, Richard Kelly hit a three-run homer, Hudson hit a two-run bomb, and Ricky Chisolm struckout the side the bottom of the seventh.

Three state championships from 1979-1981. And I think everybody believes we should have won it in 1978, too.

And many, many more.


Tuesday, February 7
Longtime PA Announcer Charlie Powers Dies

Charles E. Powers

Terry

Charles E. Charlie Powers, 75, passed away Sunday, February 5, 2006 at his home in Terry, MS as a result of complications from lung cancer. Visitation is 4-7 p.m. today at the Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home with a graveside service on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. in Cedar Lawn Cemetery.

Charles was born in Holly Springs, MS on July 7, 1930 to Irene Mathews Powers and Percy Harmon Powers. The family lived in Water Valley and McComb before moving to Jackson where he graduated from Central High School in 1948. Charles entered active duty in the Air Force on September 4, 1950 where he served as a photographer during the Korean War. Charles spent the majority of his career as an outside sales representative.

He was a member of the Community Christian Church in Pearl and dedicated much of his life to Magnolia Academy and the Mississippi Private School Association.

Charles was preceded in death by both of his parents, brother Percy Powers, Jr. of Jackson and brother Darden Powers of Waco, TX.

Charles is survived by his wife of 48 years, Betty Clifford Powers of Jackson, his children Cliff (Jennifer) Powers of Brandon, Doug Powers of Terry and Penne (Michael) Worsham of Pearl, and five grandchildren. Charlie was loved and will be missed by his family and everyone who knew him.



Tuesday, August 15
In Loving Memory: Liles Champion (1933-2006)

Liles Champion

Clinton

Liles Champion, 73, died Saturday, August 12, 2006, at the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery V.A. Medical Center in Jackson. Visitation is 9-10:45 a.m. today at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Forkville. Graveside services are 11 am. today in Bethlehem Baptist Cemetery. Ott & Lee Funeral Home of Morton is handling arrangements.

Mr. Champion moved to Clinton to make his home after living in the Forkville Community of Scott County for 20 years. He was a member of The Highland Baptist Church in Jackson. Mr. Champion worked as an accountant for the State of Mississippi for Disability Services for a number of years prior to retiring.

Survivors include his wife, Phyllis Champion of Clinton; son, Steve Champion and wife Shannon of Clinton; daughter, Michelle Champion of Augusta, Ga.; brother, Kenneth Champion of Pearl; sister, Marie Roberts of Morton; and two grandchildren.



Wednesday, January 19
Corey Stevens and Reed Prewitt Sign With Hinds Eagles

Rick Clarke now has the priviledge of coaching a second generation of Stevens' and Prewitt's. Corey Stevens, the son of Robby and Lynne Stevens and Reed Prewitt, the son of Stan and Donna Prewitt have signed National Letters of Intent to play baseball at Hinds Community College. Both are infielders and pitchers at Clinton High School.

"I just can't tell you how special this is," said Eagle head coach Rick Clarke.

Robby played at Magnolia during the 1977 and 1978 seasons and Stan played from 77-79. If you're good at math, that was 26 and 27 years ago.

Click on the link for more pictures:  http://eteamz.active.com/hindsccbaseball/albums/index.cfm?=315134


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Stan, Donna, & Reed, Corey, Lynne & Robby