This Pirate baseball tradition is in its 12th year, in which the winners of the Black & Blue Series eat steak, baked potatoes and baked beans, while the losing team enjoys hot dogs, potato chips, and baked beans, all of which is catered by Burt’s Butcher Shoppe in Columbus, Georgia. However, for the first time in 12 years, there was not a Black and Blue Series due to rain.
So, the Pirates simply had a fun dinner at Ryan’s Steakhouse. Along with the fellowship and eating, the Black & Blue Dinner also serves as the Pirates’ fall awards banquet. This year, 12 baseball players were recognized in various categories.
BIG STICK AWARD – Will Campbell
This award goes to the offensive leader of the fall season. This fall, Will led the team in nearly every offensive category, and was, without question, the offensive catalyst for the Pirates.
STAFF AWARD – Chase Burks
This award recognizes the top pitcher of the fall season. The big righty, was literally the team leader in every major pitching category, leading the team in wins, ERA, Strikeouts, strikeout:walk ratio, and lowest opponents’ batting average.
GOLDEN GLOVE AWARD – JT Thomas
This award honors the player that had the biggest impact defensively. JT was simply shutdown, brick wall, best catcher in the country caliber defensively. He was and is the backbone of the Pirate defense.
ACADEMIC AWARD – JT Thomas
This award goes to the sophomore player possessing the team’s highest GPA. JT has dominated the classroom in his 3 semesters of work, earning a 4.00 GPA thus far.
IRON PIRATE AWARD – MJ Rookard
This award recognizes the semester long individual challenge in the team’s daily CrossFit workouts. Points are earned based upon each players finish in each workout. Rook was an absolute beast this fall, as he dominated the off season workouts, with the next closest competitor falling nearly 100 points behind. Along with his certificate, MJ earned an Iron Pirate t-shirt.
IRON PIRATE GAMES CHAMPS – Team Poskey
After a two week long battle, Team Hagan rallied back from third place entering the final day to pull off an improbable comback to take the 2014 Iron Pirate Games. Team Hagan consisted of: Captain Nick Poskey, JT Thomas, Trent Simpson, Jordan Lee, Brandon Sattenfield, Kurt Ornowski, Will Campbell, and Chase Adkins
IRON PIRATE GAMES PRIME TIME PERFORMER – JT Thomas
This award is a player voted award that went to the athlete that exhibited the greatest individual effort during the Iron Pirate Games. Thomas literally put his team on his back and won every event in which he competed. His efforts were heroic and selfless in nature while exhibitting extraordinary leadership. This is a back to back win for JT.
IRON PIRATE BIG TIME GAINERS
This award goes those individuals who had the highest 1 rep max in each of our major lifts. Along with their certificate, they each earned an Iron Pirate t-shirt.
- Back Squat – MJ Rookard, 460 pounds
- Bench Press – JT Thomas, 335 pounds
- Deadlift – Jaylen Smith, 500 pounds
- Shoulder Press – JT Thomas, 200 pounds
- Power Clean – Frank Wager, 285 pounds
NEWCOMER OF THE FALL AWARD – Chase Adkins
This award honors the first year athlete (either freshman or transfer) that had the biggest impact on the team. Transfer pitcher, Chase Adkins, was that young man. Who looks to be the class of the ACCC in terms of dominating pitcher, Adkins was exactly that all fall – Dominating. He and Burks literally tied for every single pitching stat for the Pirates this fall.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER AWARD – Trent Simpson and MJ Rookard
This award recognizes a second or third year athlete that has made the biggest improvement since arriving to CVCC. As both of these young men came in the fall of 2015, they both had not quite the season that either was hoping for, as Rookard had season ending wrist surgery and Simpson didn’t log many significant at bats. However, how a summer and fall’s worth of work can change things. Both guys are right in the middle of contributing greatly on both sides of the ball this spring.
ALEX CABRAL HUSTLE AWARD – Jaylen Smith
Named in honor of former Pirate, Alex Cabral, this award honors the athlete that displays the most and consistent hustle and work ethic on and off the field, as well as in the weight room. Jaylen Smith exemplifies this award with his “never take a day off, never take a play off” mentality. This is evident by his play on both the practice field and during CrossFit workouts. Like Cabby, there is never any question as to whether Smith is going as hard as he can possibly go.
DO IT RIGHT AWARD – Caleb Lynn
This award goes to the athlete that does exactly what the award says – Does it Right. Lynn is the epitome of detailed oriented and performs every drill, exercise, workout, and task exactly as prescribed to his fullest capabilities.
TY McTIER COACHES AWARDS – Nolan Greckel, Frank Wager, Jacob Ozley, and Tim Kennedy
This award was created for, and named in honor of, former Pirate, Ty McTier. This award recognizes the consumate team player, leadership by example, work ethic, winning attitude, unselfishness, good citizenship, and character development over the course of their careers. These four young men mirror these qualities in a manner of which Ty McTier represented CVCC Baseball.
DIRTY PIRATE AWARD – JT Thomas
This award was the original award created by Coach Thomas back in 2002 for the fall season’s most outstanding player. The phrase Dirty Pirate probably does not do the award justice, as it certainly has a seemingly negative conotation. However, the phrase “Dirty Pirate” comes with a badge of honor, as at the turn of the 21st century, as the CVCC Baseball began making its run toward ACCC prominence, opposing teams referred to CVCC as the “Dirty Pirates”, recognizing the tougness, grit, and exceptional work ethic that the Pirate baseball team displayed during its contests. Hence, the Dirty Pirate Award was born. The award has developed and evolved through the years, though, as the present day award recipient must display the following qualities and characteristics: toughness, work ethic, academics, hustle, good defender, one of best hitters or pitchers on team, leadership, high character, the ability and willingness to things the right way, and coachability. In essance, this award is the consumate award for which a CVCC Baseball Player may be honored. It is all encompassing of all of the above mentioned awards. JT Thomas represents the Dirty Pirate mentality as well as anyone that has worn a Pirate uniform.