Highlights of Varsity Baseball History

Spring 2016

Carey Inducted Into Jackson-Madison County Sports Hall of Fame

Former USJ baseball coach Jimmy Carey was inducted into the Jackson-Madison County Sports Hall of Fame’s 31st class this April. Coach Carey, who led the Bruins to three state baseball titles—1999, 2001, and 2002—coached at USJ from 1996 to 2003.

“It was a huge honor to be recognized for the Hall of Fame,” says Coach Carey. “I got the honor, but truly, it was all of my former players and coaches who made this happen. So many positive things can happen when everyone is striving to be the best they can be.”

Coach Carey’s passion for the game is legendary. “It's definitely a well deserved honor to have Coach Carey inducted into the Hall of Fame,” says Jody Evans, USJ Athletic Director. “His passion for baseball is second to none. He helped build USJ baseball into what it is today through his hard work and commitment.”

Coach Carey also has a personal connection to Bruins baseball. His sons, Logan and Caleb, are both Bruins, and he spent seven years coaching them in travel ball. As a result, he has coached many of the boys who signed this year and spoke at their signing ceremonies.

“It's been an absolute blessing to watch these kids grow from little kids to young men,” says Coach Carey. “Five of the seven seniors who signed have played with me since they were eight years old. They raised their hands years ago, stating they wanted to play college baseball, and to see those dreams come true is awesome. They are going to leave USJ and be leaders, both on and off the field.”

“There's one character trait that separates good coaches from great coaches,” says Coach Evans. “Great coaches build genuine relationships with all their players. These relationships are life-long, not just while they are playing for you. As we've all seen during our recent baseball signings, Coach Carey loves his players, and they love him. That's the reason we coach.”

Spring 2014

Brauss named player of the year

Ben Brauss was selected as the 2014 DII-A Player of the Year by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association.

Hensley signs at MTSU

Chase Hensley, Class of 2013, has accepted a scholarship to play baseball at Middle Tennessee State University.

Bruins win State Championship in coach's first season

Before 2014’s championship baseball season, incoming coach Jack Peel had no idea what to expect. TSSAA rules prevent transferring coaches from working with players until February.

From a distance, Peel watched the athleticism of his players on football and basketball teams as the year progressed. And when spring practice began, the season’s potential took shape.

“I could tell we were going to be good,” Peel said. “As the season went along, I felt more and more confident every week.”

The team was fundamentally strong and executed well, and players prioritized team victories over individual glory. “This was the most unselfish team I’ve ever been a part of," Peel said.

On May 22, as the Bruins faced Tipton-Rosemark Academy in the state championship game, Peel’s confidence in his team peaked. “There was no doubt in my mind we were going to win.”

And they did. The Bruins overcame an early four-run deficit to win 8-4. It was the baseball team’s fifth state title and the second in three seasons.

Peel said the win was surreal. He enjoyed it during the entire ride home from Murfreesboro, and then he turned his focus to 2015.

“I’ve got that taste in my mouth, and I want to do it again this year and again the following year.”

Peel came to USJ as Upper School baseball coach and Facilities Director after serving as director of football operations at Arkansas State University. He had coached on the collegiate level for 12 years, including stops at the University of Memphis, Lyon College, Trevecca Nazarene University, and Lambuth University.

As a player, he spent two years at Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia, Mississippi. After being an eighth-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1984 Major League Baseball winter draft, he was selected to the Mississippi Junior College All-State Team following his sophomore season. In 2005, he was inducted into the Northwest Mississippi Community College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Peel’s final two seasons of collegiate play were spent at the University of Memphis where he was selected to the All-Metro Conference Team in 1986 as an outfielder.
After college, he signed as a free agent with the Chicago White Sox. He played four seasons with the Sox and two seasons with the Texas Rangers.

Peel knows baseball, and he brings that experience to his coaching position at USJ. He finished his first season as a Bruin with a 25-13 record. And, of course, he won a state championship.

Before becoming a Bruin, he said he did not know much about USJ. But from day one, it’s been a welcoming environment that encourages excellence and provides opportunities for personal growth. After his first year, he said he wished he had been at USJ for the past 20.

“It has been awesome.”

Coach Jack Peel named 2014 Baseball Coach of the Year by the Jackson Sun

Players named to All-West Tennessee Team

Joseph Patterson - First Team
Garrett Guymon - Second Team
Ben Brauss - Second Team
Logan Carey - Honorable Mention
Austin Orr - Honorable Mention
Logan Hughes - Honorable Mention
Ryan Rolison - Honorable Mention

Spring 2013

2013 All-West Tennessee Team named

Chase Hensley and Reed Matheny were named to The Jackson Sun’s 2013 All-West Tennessee first team. Tyler Hardin was named to the second team. Logan Hughes, Peyton Fendley, Ben Brauss, and Kody Kilburn earned an honorable mention recognition.

Dyer and Garner Honored

At its annual clinic in Franklin, the Tennessee Baseball Coaches’ Association honored the baseball program at USJ with two awards. USJ Varsity Baseball Coach Brad Dyer was named the Association’s Division II High School Coach of the Year. The Association also named Ryan Garner as the Division II Player of the Year.

Spring 2012

Ryan Garner selected as 2012 Jackson Sun’s All-West Tennessee Baseball Pitcher of the Year

Junior Ryan Gardner, who helped the Bruins capture the Division II-A state championship title, has been named the Jackson Sun’s 2012 All-West Tennessee Baseball Pitcher of the Year. Ryan finished the season with an 11-2 record with two saves in 16 total appearances. He had eight complete games and two shutouts. Ryan finished with an ERA of 2.01, giving up 23 earned runs. He struck out 118 batters.

Jackson Sun’s All-West Tennessee Team Honors

Senior Lee Mayhall was selected to the Jackson Sun’s 2012 All-West Tennessee First Team. Tyler Hardin and Reed Matheny were chosen for the All-West Tennessee Second Team while Chase Hensley, Peyton Fendley, Sy Anthony and Austin Orr received Honorable Mention honors.

Varsity Baseball take 2012 State Championship title

The Bruins Varsity Baseball team captured the 2012 State title, defeating Harding Academy 7-2.

The Bruins entered the Spring Fling with a huge 13-0 win over Harding Academy. In the second round of action, the Bruins defeated Ezell-Harding 1-0.

The Bruins then faced Harding Academy in the championship play-off game, which Harding took 12-2. As the tournament is a double elimination, the Bruins still had a chance, and in the second game of the day, came out on top, 7-2.

Click here to view video highlights of the final play in the baseball state championship and the celebration afterwards!

Spring 2010

USJ's Walker McWherter and Preston Overby received the Jackson Sun All-West Tennessee first team baseball honors. Cheyenne Kirk was named to the All-West Tennessee second team.

Spring 2009

USJ's Dusty Bright received Jackson Sun All-West Tennessee first team baseball honors, while Walker McWherter and John Wills were named to the All-West Tennessee second team.

The Bruins Baseball team closed out its Regular Season with a 14 AA Championship and winning the District 14 AA tournament. Named to the All-District team were Preston Overbey, Dusty Bright, Benjie Fesmire, Walker McWherter, and Kyle Bryan. John Wills was named the MVP of the District Tournament.

Preston Overbey, Hunter Smith, and Todd Bateman were also named to the All Tournament team.  Walker McWherter was selected MVP of the Tournament, while Brad Dyer was named "Coach of the Year."

Spring 2008

After winning District, Regional and Sectional Championships titles, the baseball team advanced to the State Tournament in Murfressboro. This was the Bruins ninth appearance at the state tournamnet. After winning their first game of tournament play, the team lost in the second round to Goodpasture. The Bruins ended their run for the state with a loss to Marion County.

Players winning All District were Preston Overbey, Benjie Fesmire, Clayton Gant, and Danny Grimm. Hunter Smith won Most Valuable Player. The All-District Tournament players are Benjie Fesmire, Clayton Gant, John Wills, and Hunter Smith. Danny Grimm was the Most Valuable Player.

Spring 2007

The boys baseball team was runner-up in the state for the second year in a row. Team members are Simon Arcuri, Brad Barclay, Todd Bateman, Nathan Bell, Dusty Bright, Kyle Bryan, Trey Buckley, Gillis Chandler, Jared Davis, Benjie Fesmire, Clayton Gant, Jack Glenn, Will Glenn, Daniel Grimm, Martin Key, Cheyenne Kirk, Andrew LeCroy, Josh Liles, Will Little, Walker McWherter, Jake Overbey, Preston Overbey, Marshall Seals, Hunter Smith, Tyler Tollison, Austin Whitsitt, and John Wills. Head Coach is Brad Dyer. Assisttants are Joseph Talley, Russ Deloach, Matt Hoppe, and Ronnie Giddens.

Named to All-District in baseball were Preston Overbey, Danny Grimm, Will Glenn, Clayton Gant, and Benjie Fesmire. Josh Liles received MVP for District 14-AA.

Named to All-State in baseball were Josh Liles, Clayton Gant, and Benjie Fesmire.

Named to All-Tournament were Preston Overbey, Will Glenn, Josh Liles, and Clayton Gant. Jon Wills was MVP for All-Tournament.

USJ baseball is rich in tradition, winning with State Championships in 2002, 2001, 1999, and State runner-up in 2007, 2006, and 2003.

Slideshows from past seasons

2014 Baseball Season

View photos from the Bruins' win at the State Championship game.

2012 Baseball Season

The Bruins had an awesome 2012 season. This slideshow contains pictures from the State Championship series.