Friendships go out the door for rivalry games
I don’t normally put what a player says on the field in the newspaper. But Darrius Wright put Tuesday night’s rivalry game into perfect perspective.
Moments before Tyler George threw the first pitch, Wright looked down to Yazoo County’s catcher and said, “I’m not your friend anymore.”
It’s cold, but the truth. Once the umpire yells “play ball” there are no friends on the opposing team - rivalry game or not. The goal becomes to beat the other team without worrying about feelings or any of that type of stuff.
Now, there weren’t any moments that make a rivalry game standout. There were no fights, and only one controversial call (and that’s a stretch) the whole game.
But if you think Wright was kidding about that friend part, you’re kidding yourself. Just look at his stat line. He went 2-for-4 at the plate with two singles. Nothing too fancy, but what he did on the mound isn’t something a person would want to do to their friends.
Wright didn’t allow one hit in seven innings of work (a full high school game) and struck out 16 batters while giving up three walks, which led to Yazoo County’s lone run.
For a freshman, that’s very impressive. The most impressive stat is the one I didn’t notice until I sat down to write the game story. Wright struck out six straight batters during the fifth and sixth innings.
Friends also don’t smack home runs that send the ball sailing over the center field wall. But that’s exactly what Samuel Campbell did and sources tell me they’re still looking for that ball.
Before Campbell struck, the Panthers weren’t out of the game. There was still a feeling that all they needed was one hit and the game would be tied again at 2-2. However, with two outs already down, Campbell made sure Yazoo County wouldn’t be able to catch the Indians with his blast to centerfield.
Many of the players on Yazoo City’s and Yazoo County’s roster are friends because Yazoo is a small community. These players are still friends. Friendships don’t end because of sports, but rather are just put on hold.
I’ve played against friends before in high school and junior high. I remember one game we won easily and another we lost badly. I had friends on the other team each time and our friendship wasn’t over with after the game.
But in between those whistles, friend was just another six-letter word.