Baseball team chases Westminster’s 10th spring state title

Westminster hasn’t won a state championship in baseball since 1975. So you wouldn’t think there would be much pressure on coach Russell Wrenn, in his second season as Westminster’s head coach.

But this is Westminster, where the Wildcats’ sports teams have won nine of a possible 10 state championships this spring. Westminster has won some 200 state championships, more than any other Georgia school, but never had a season like this.

In fact, no school had won more the five state titles in one spring until this year.

‘’The golf coach and I were having lunch the other day; everybody else had finished, and they were playing Monday and we were in the semifinals,’’ Wrenn said. “I said, ‘I guess if we want to be back next year, we need to win it.’ The standard has been set.’’

The Class AA baseball series, which begins Saturday with a double-header that starts at 6 p.m. at Westminster, is interesting on several fronts.

Westminster has dominated spring sports, and one might say dominated Lovett this baseball season (winning all three meetings), but the idea that Westminster is the favorite is not on that Wrenn is ready to accept.

Westminster won those three games by a total of four runs (4-2, 3-2, 7-6), but Lovett had won 17 straight in the series prior to that. Lovett also has six state titles to its credit, most recently in 2009.

Wrenn was asked what it meant to be playing Lovett for the championship.

‘’Boy, I think that’s a complicated question,’’ he said. “So many players know each other. They grew up playing ball together, usually more than one sport, whether it was Buckhead baseball or NYO. It’s pretty exciting for our community.’’

The complications have more to do with challenge of beating a very good team and knowing that the March three-game series between the two means little now except that the teams are closely matched.

Westminster has the tools to win it, though. Wrenn, also Westminster’s offensive coordinator in football, started five sophomores and a freshman last year, and those kids have Westminster grow up into a state contender.

Senior Hays Meyer (9-2, 1.29) and junior Conrad Cornell (10-0, 1.77) have won each of their four playoff starts. Junior center fielder Jake Johnson (.344) has offers from Georgia and Notre Dame. Sophomore Connor Stutts (.398) is another major D-1 recruit. The leading hitter is junior McClain Bradley (.427). Freshman Rankin Woley is batting .373.

Wrenn hopes to get some fans of other sports to come Saturday and root on the dynasty.

‘’Obviously this spring has been exciting for the school,’’ Wrenn said. “There were a couple of sports that we felt like we had a good chance in, and for others it took some amazing efforts by our students to get it done, especially in track and field and soccer. It’s been fun following each other. We’ve had kids finish practice and sprint over to the soccer game. There has been some great energy on campus.’’

Westminster’s spring state titles:

Tennis (boys)

Tennis (girls)

Track & Field (boys)

Track & Field (girls)

Golf (boys)

Soccer (boys)

Soccer (girls)

Lacrosse (boys)

Lacrosse (girls)

6 comments Add your comment

BIG BOY

May 25th, 2013
11:20 am

Good thing they took care of the private school vs public school thing in class A…..obviously all the other classifications were fair.

bob

May 25th, 2013
11:55 am

Westminster does it the right way. Looking at the stats – Westminster doesn’t accept many, or any, high school transfer students. They don’t recruit or even accept anyone after junior high school. Most kids attend school at Westminster since elementary school. They develop and coach up their own kids – and compete and win. And their students are among the most academically accomplished in the state. Great year for Westminster. It has never happened before, and might never ever again. Many of the state championships they won were clearly upsets, with breaks just going their way this year. Kudos to a school that does it the right way.

W

May 25th, 2013
12:46 pm

The total number for the school’s history actually sits between 240-250 total state titles, which unreal when you think about it. I agree with Bob in his post though. This is a school that does it the right way. Taking what it has rather than going and getting it, combining it with coaches who care about the “teaching” side of coaching, and proving the combination works. When you incorporate the academic nature of Westminster as well, it makes the feat even that more impressive. There are other great schools in this state that do it the right way too. What stinks is that it’s the ones that do it the right way that get blamed for the problems caused by others. Congrats to Westminster on a fine Spring! Good luck to both schools in the final!

W

May 25th, 2013
12:48 pm

As a follow up…I mean there are both great Private AND Public schools that do it right. Just like there are BOTH Private and Public schools that do it wrong.

James

May 26th, 2013
8:02 pm

Westminster should be 4AAAA or 5AAAAA… beating up on small county schools
and Lovett is great but they need to grow a pair and play up 2 spots at least like
Marist who is the only private school in the state to at least play with the big boys…
Sorry but just a fact… I have no horse in the race just the fact that these private schools
get the choice of kids from Metro Atlanta area they all should play up 2 spots or
just start their own league…. At least have private/public tournaments like class A does
to give the smaller schools a shot…

ted

May 27th, 2013
11:19 am

James, nice comment, other than being totally incorrect. Marist is the school that openly classification shops to avoid playing tough competition. They were lower, but then moved up but ran into Woodward and Pius, so they moved higher cause they didn’t like losing. Marist needs to grow “a pair” and not shop each year for the classification that best suits them. As for private schools having their “choice of kids” – yes, its true. But its at pre-k!! The private schools do indeed have huge advantages, but its better facilities, coaches, kids with resources, kids who can train and don’t need to work after school, kids who eat better, etc… etc…