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Watkins named VDN’s 2024 Baseball Player of the Year



Conner Watkins: Photo by Richard Miller

Rising to the occasion when his team needed him most was Conner Watkins’ specialty. Not only armed with a strong throwing arm, but also possessing the uncanny ability to connect with the ball without hesitation, he rightfully earned the title of VDN’s 2024 Baseball Player
of the Year.

The senior year for Watkins kicked off with high hopes for Warren Central to make a mark in the season. With Watkins leading the charge, the Vikings successfully defended their district championship and secured the
North State Title.

Conner Watkins
Conner Watkins: Photo by Richard Miller

Throughout 2024, Watkins showcased stellar performances, including allowing just one run against the MAIS State Champions, Jackson Prep, and delivering crucial wins against Center Hill and Lake Cormorant in the 6A

Reflecting on his achievements, Watkins humbly remarked, “The season went pretty well, and I achieved some personal goals, but I am incredibly proud of my entire team.

Closing off his senior year with impressive stats of 30 hits, 24 RBIs, and 73 strikeouts, Watkins steered WC into the 6A championship series for the first time in 23 years. Despite his
individual accomplishments, Watkins remained steadfast in his focus on one primary goal – guiding his team to the state championship.

“My sole aim was reaching the state championship, and that drove me throughout the season, setting me apart,” Watkins emphasized.

During a standout moment in the season, Watkins struck out nine batters against Ridgeland and soon found himself on the mound at Trustmark Park. The Vikings triumphed over Center Hill in the first two games, with Watkins pitching a complete game in the first encounter.

“It took a while to sink in, and while it was a great win, I reminded myself that the job wasn’t finished; we needed one more victory,” Watkins recalled.

Watkins cherished the experience of competing at Trustmark, labeling it as one of the highlights of his life. Despite falling short in the end, the Vikings’ season stood as one of the program’s finest moments in history.

“To still be playing while others were on vacation was an incredible feeling, and I’m grateful for the opportunity, Watkins expressed.

Having secured a collegiate scholarship to play for Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Watkins credited his father, Curt Watkins, for
introducing him to baseball. Becoming only the third player to receive VDN’s Baseball Player of the Year title, Watkins reflected on the honor, saying,”Being chosen for this award is a huge achievement that I’ve worked tirelessly for, and I’m incredibly grateful.”

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