With the TSSAA high school baseball season quickly approaching, the 2014 Walker Valley Baseball Hall of Fame and First Pitch Banquet has been set for March 2.
Gathering at the WVHS cafeteria and auditorium next Sunday afternoon, silent auction bidding will begin at noon, with the dinner being served at 1 p.m.
The annual gethering to kick off the Mustang diamond season will also induct the ninth member of the program’s Hall of Fame — Zach Driggers.
A three-year starting pitcher, Driggers had “a very unique deliver and threw the ball very hard with good control,” according to current Coach Joe Shamblin, who took over as head coach at WVHS in 2006-07, Driggers’ senior season.
“He was a bulldog type pitcher. Even if he didn’t have his best stuff on a given day, you knew he was going to give you a chance to win,” Shamblin added.
After playing for WVHS from 2003-07, Driggers was one of a half dozen Mustangs to sign college scholarships that summer, after fanning 125 batters while posting a 7-1 record and five saves in his final high school campaign. He had an opportunity to play for Austin Peay State University but decided to go the junior college route. Driggers went 2-2 with five saves and an average of 1.37 strikeouts per inning in his season with Cleveland State.
This year’s special guest speaker for the HOF and First Pitch Banquet will be former Middle Tennessee State coaching legend Steve Peterson.
Peterson’s drive for excellence resulted in consistent success and made Middle Tennessee a model program. The veteran coach has led Middle Tennessee to 11 regular-season conference championships, nine conference tournament titles, and nine NCAA Regional berths including two at-large selections.
He guided the Blue Raiders to seven consecutive championships — either regular season or tournament — during one stretch. Peterson, who retired after the 2012 season with a sterling 791-637-3 mark, produced 16 seasons with 30 or more wins, including a school-record 44 victories in 2009. He also has four campaigns of at least 40 wins, including 2009’s 44-18 record.
Anyone wishing to attend the banquet should RSVP to Coach Shamblin (364-6951 or firstname.lastname@example.org) by Wednesday to reserve a plate. The cost is $10 per person to dine in or $12 for a carry out.
All monies raised by the annual event will go to benefit the 2014 Walker Valley baseball team.