19 Apr

prep work

Using the latest Power 25 rankings by Prep Baseball Report as a guide, favorites can be identified in the MHSAA playoffs that have begun for Classes 1A through 4A. Two Class 4A teams are ranked in the top six, with West Lauderdale at No. 5 and Sumrall at No. 6. The longtime powerhouse programs are on opposite sides of the bracket, possibly headed for a showdown for the state title at Trustmark Park in Pearl next month, though there is a long, long road to navigate. Jacob Wooten and Leeds Jenkins lead the way for the Knights (22-5), who have won 15 state titles. They open the playoffs with Senatobia. Sumrall’s Bearcats (24-5), winners of six state crowns, feature Landon Hawkins and Cade Clinton. They start out against Forest. Kossuth (21-1), which opens vs. Ruleville, is the highest-rated 3A team at No. 23, and East Union (21-5), which has a first-round bye, tops 2A schools at No. 17. No 1A schools are in the Power 25, though Biggersville and Hollandale Simmons got first-round byes on opposite sides of the class bracket. The 5A though 7A playoffs start next weekend. Class 7A is a minefield with five teams ranked in the top nine: No. 2 Lewisburg, No. 3 Germantown, No. 7 Hernando, No. 8 Northwest Rankin and No. 9 Oak Grove. West Jones, ranked 10th, tops the 6A schools, and South Jones, at No. 15, is the highest-rated 5A school. … In the MAIS, all eyes will be on top-ranked Jackson Prep, the king of Class 6A, and two-way star Konnor Griffin. The Patriots’ Lakeland Drive rival, 6A Hartfield Academy, is ranked No. 11 in the Power 25 but is 0-4 against Prep this season. Fourth-ranked Magnolia Heights is in Class 5A.

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