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Addison and Hammond named best players this year

By Jeffery Armstrong

Clayton County Player of the Year

The accolades keep on coming for Jonesboro High School's standout athlete Kenyari Addison.

Addison has been chosen as the Daily's Clayton County Baseball Player of the Year a mere five months after he was named the All-Southern Crescent Offensive Player of the Year in football.

Not a bad way to end a senior year of high school.

Addison had a special year in baseball, despite playing in only 21 of the Cardinals' 28 games. He batted .286 for the season, with 17 runs scored, 16 hits, 10 runs batted in and 10 stolen bases. But with Addison, numbers don't tell the story of how valuable he was to the baseball team.

"He's been banged up all year, yet when we went 8-2 down the stretch to make the playoffs, he performed well on offense and defense," said Jonesboro head baseball coach Don Corr. "He was just a great team leader. He got on base and scored runs when we needed them. I think at one time during that crucial stretch, Kenyari reached base 12 straight times."

Corr went on to say that Addison is more than just a great athlete.

"Kenyari is an outstanding young man, period," Corr said. "At the graduation ceremony, he won the Ray Kroc Award as the school's best all-around graduating senior. That puts a great cap on his career here at Jonesboro."

Addison also was a very good basketball player, coming off the bench to help the Cardinals make the state finals against Wheeler this past spring.

Henry County Player of the Year

Henry County High's Lane Hammond is the epitome of intensity n from his practice habits to game day, Hammond always strives to do his best.

Henry County Warhawks head baseball coach Chuck Campbell found that out about Hammond many years ago.

"I've know Lane since he was eight; he attended my baseball camp I had years ago," said Campbell. "He wore out all the camp coaches because he always wanted to field one more ground ball and hit one more pitch. He always wanted more."

Campbell said Hammond hasn't changed since he was a child n he called him an aggressive player whose motor ran all the time.

"Lane was a natural team leader," said Campbell. "He had a football player's mentality on the baseball field. Our kids followed him for sure."

Hammond definitely was worth following. He batted .430 with 27 RBIs, two home runs, eight doubles and four triples. He also was 16-for-17 in stolen bases and had no more than a couple of errors at second base.

"I think his best baseball is actually ahead of him," said Campbell.

Coach of the Year

Blake Lyons of Eagle's Landing High always referred to his baseball team as "18 guys that just go to work every day."

Lyons did well with his "employees," leading them to the best record in school history (20-10), the Region 2-AAAAA title (along with Henry County) and a berth in the Class AAAAA state playoffs for the first time in school history.

Lyons presided over a team that featured a pitcher with a school record for wins (Adam Fine, 7-2) and won its first-round playoff series over a tough Coffee County team.

They lost to Fayette County in the state second round.