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Clayton County all-stars take to the diamond

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Former Mundy’s Mill third baseman Rashad Crawford will play in Saturday’s Clayton County All-Star Game at Lovejoy High. This past season, the Region 4-AAAA Player of the Year hit .507 with 41 runs scored.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Former Mundy’s Mill third baseman Rashad Crawford will play in Saturday’s Clayton County All-Star Game at Lovejoy High. This past season, the Region 4-AAAA Player of the Year hit .507 with 41 runs scored.

The cream of the crop in Clayton County high school baseball will have one more chance to rise Saturday at the third annual Clayton County All-Star Game at Lovejoy High.

Mundy’s Mill coach Patrick Smith said that although the game will provide a fun ending to the year for many players, that doesn’t mean the county’s best won’t be taking it seriously.

“For guys that haven’t signed yet, this game is big for them,” Smith said. “We invite a lot of college scouts out, and it just really gives everyone one last chance to be seen by the scouts and to play and have some fun.”

During the game’s first year, the teams were split up simply by North and South divisions. But over the last two years, the players have been divided in a way as to preserve the schools’ natural rivals.

Players from Riverdale, Lovejoy, Morrow, Mount Zion and Drew will make up the National League while Mundy’s Mill, Jonesboro, North Clayton and Forest Park’s players will comprise the American League.

Riverdale coach William Silveri said he is sure the competitive juices of the athletes will flow as they get another chance to square off against guys they’ve become accustomed to battling over the last three or four years.

“When we get these guys split up into teams that make up their traditional rivalries against each other, it gives them one more time to defeat each other,” Silveri said. “It brings a little edge to the game.”

Riverdale’s Dequavious Martin (catcher), Tikeem Cooper (shortstop/second baseman), Brandon Houston (third baseman/pitcher) and Louis Clark (first baseman) are just a few of the names that will populate the National League’s roster.

Silveri called it a “joy” to not only coach the best from his own team once again, but to combine his talent with others from across the county.

“Being around this kind of talent, you just don’t get that every day,” Silveri said. “I wish I could get them all to stay in school and transfer to Riverdale.”

For Mundy’s Mill, third baseman Rashard Crawford, catcher Raheim Jackson and the Southern Crescent Player of the Year Corey Harmon (pitcher/shortstop) are among those who will compete for the American League.

According to Silveri, approximately 15 players have received baseball scholarships the last two years because of the all-star game. But for a player like Lovejoy’s Brandon Chisolm, who has already signed with Paine College, this game is simply another opportunity to get out and play the game he loves.

“Since this is my senior year, this is a good chance to step on the field one last time and give it all I’ve got with these guys,” Chisolm said. “It’s a good experience to come in here with these guys, playing as a team now instead of trying to beat each other up.”

The first game of the doubleheader will begin at 3 p.m. Silveri said the quality of baseball in Clayton County this year should create some exciting and entertaining moments for fans.

“In some years, the pitching is above the offense, but this year the lineups are going to be real dangerous. With the bats we’ve had this season, I’m looking for a slugfest. It’s not going to be a 1-0 ballgame.”