Sumrall's Fearsome Foursome

Sumrall High School in Sumrall, Mississippi is used to receiving rankings and honors. When you win back-to-back 3A state championships and send your top players on to colleges those kind of accolades are expected. But I don't think anybody expected the most recent honor; four players on the same team making the Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American team.

The four Sumrall players who made the team were seniors Jackson Posey and Chase Lewallen and juniors Austin Carter and Luke Lowery.

When first told about the award, Lowery, the ace on the pitching staff, couldn't believe what his coach told him.

"(Sumrall head baseball) Coach (Larry) Knight told me about it one day last week, and I was kind of in shock when he told me," said Lowery, who is receiving recruiting letters from Southern Miss, Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, Tulane and UAB. "One of the top kids in the country, that was pretty impressive. I feel very privileged."

Posey, a corner infielder, probably summed it up best as to what the selections mean team-wise.

"That tells us that we have a strong team, a lot of people coming back who contributed last year," said the 6-5, 225-pounder who has signed to play his college ball at Pearl River Community College. "That just tells a lot about how strong our team is."

And they'll need to be strong because winning back-to-back state championship and having four players make a preseason All-American team, especially one as prestigious as Louisville Slugger, puts you right out there in the line of fire.

"I guess you could say that it just puts a bigger bullseye on us if you could get it any bigger," said centerfielder Carter, who is currently receiving recruiting letters from teams such as Southeastern Louisiana and Tulane.

Chase Lewallen, an infielder and the closer on the pitching staff, appreciates the honor but understands where it fits in the overall scheme of things.

"Everybody is proud of us making the team and it's an awesome honor, but preseason (honors) means nothing," said Lewallen, who signed with Mississippi State baseball last fall. "It's what you do at the end of the season that really matters."

Coach Knight understands why each player made the team.

"Each of those players had tremendous years last year," said Knight.

He described in detail the attributes that each player has that helped them become preseason All-Americans.

Chase Lewallen - "Chase is the most versatile infielder that I have ever coached. He can play several positions and is our closer on the mound. Chase plays with a lot of heart and swings the bat extremely well."

Jackson Posey - "Jackson is a big kid at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds who hit .505 last year with 10 HRs. He is one of the best hitters I have coached in my 20 years. He will play 3rd base and 1st base and will be one of our top guys on the mound, topping out at 90 (mph). Jackson has signed with Pearl River Community College but I expect him to get some Division 1 offers before the year is over."

Luke Lowery - "Luke is a very good lefthanded pitcher with a tremendous amount of experience going back to his 9th grade year. He was 10-0 last season and is expected to be the ace of our team this year. Luke is a definite Division 1 player who has 3 solid pitches."

Austin Carter - "Austin was one of the best clutch hitters we had last season. He hit for a high average and came through for us in several big games at the plate. He does a very good job in centerfield and has a strong arm as well. Austin, who throws from the left side with 3 good pitches, should see some mound time."

With all that returning talent, you might expect Coach Knight to take it a bit easier on his team. Not so says Posey.

"He's killing us right now," said Posey, "but we have to put in that hard work."

Add that hard work to the exceptional talent returning and you have the main ingredients needed to cook up a three-peat.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher/owner of, an independent website that covers Mississippi baseball, including high school, junior college and travel team ball. You can contact him by emailing

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