Aggies get championship rings
Members of the 2013 National Championship Murray State College Baseball Team received their rings in a special ceremony Friday night. Players, coaches, family and friends gathered to remember the season and get their piece of the historic season.
“The reason we are having it now is that so many guys go to other schools,” said Head Coach Zach Crabtree. “Now everyone’s fall season should be done. We wanted to give them enough time to plan it out and be able to attend.”
The night started with a banquet and a chance for players to gather together and see each other again. After the close of last season, many players scattered to play summer baseball or return home so this was the first chance for the team to all gather since last season. All but two of the players were able to attend.
The night gave everyone one more chance to rehash the road to the championship and remember the people who helped along the way. The ceremony began with remarks from President Joy McDaniel and Vice Presidents Michaelle Gray and Roger Stacy. Crabtree gave a recap of the three-year journey to the national championship and Associate Head Coach Lloyd Gage recognized some of the key players who were leaders on and off the field. Five of those players also turn their turn to speak. Three-year players Michael Barnhart and Sam Foret were joined by Hunter Raley, Keach Ballard and Noel Nevarez to give their memories of the road to victory.
After the brief ceremony, the players were finally treated to what they’d been waiting for for several months: their championship ring. Servers brought the rings out on trays and delivered them to the players at their tables.
“The guys were really excited about the rings,” said Crabtree. “Some of the guys had been tweeting a countdown to the day they would get them.”
Now that the ring ceremony is over, the players will go their separate ways again. Several players are playing at the next level including: Keach Ballard - University of Oklahoma; Eddie Broll and Garrett Sumpter - Oklahoma Christian; Jared Sterling, Josh Ingram and Michael Barnhart – University of Central Oklahoma; Noel Nevarez – Tarleton State; Sam Foret – Saginaw Valley State University (Michigan); and Eddie Kieffer – West Alabama University. Not all players continued on with baseball. Chance Morgan and Kenton Stanley are competing at Southeastern Oklahoma State University on the fishing team, and Jacob Sanders is attending pharmacy school. Of course, several players from last year are returning members of this year’s squad including Daniel Arthur (catcher), Colt Pickens (second base), Brance Kahle (third base), Brandon Grimsley (right field), Blake Campo (outfield), Chase Crites (DH, infield) and pitchers Hunter Raley, Bradley Horn, John Hayes and John Watson.
The team is practicing hard and preparing for the spring season. The season begins in February. For schedule details, check www.mscok.edu.