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APS Baseball All-Stars finish season in showdown vs. Dekalb

by Thomas Scott
The 2023 APS All-Star players and coaches.

Atlanta Public Schools’ top senior baseball players took the field Tuesday afternoon for an exciting matchup versus DeKalb County’s top players for the 2023 APS vs. Dekalb All-Star Classic at Gresham Park.

The DeKalb All-Stars won 14-3, but players from both teams showcased why they were selected to represent their schools in the All-Star game.

“We just wanted an opportunity to highlight our student-athletes and show them that baseball in the metro area is still strong,” APS Assistant Athletic Director Rendell Jackson said. “We want to show our kids that we have a caring culture that is equitable, diverse and presents opportunities where kids can work together to make big things happen.”

This year, student-athletes from seven APS schools made the All-Star team, and Maynard Jackson High School had the most players selected (6). Mays (4), Carver (3), North Atlanta (2), Douglass (2), Drew Charter and KIPP were all represented. Athletes were nominated by their coaches and selected based on stats and region honors.

Kaleb Bodeman from Maynard Jackson HS started the game on the mound for the APS All-Stars.

Therrell High School head coach Ryan Christian, who was named the Region 6-AA Coach of the Year, was the APS All-Star head coach. Maynard Jackson High School head coach Desmond Stegall and Mays High School head coach Jason Anderson rounded out the APS All-Star coaching staff.

“It’s always an honor to be out here as a representative of APS,” Christian said. “The kids played hard. They had a good time. They had some good competition from DeKalb County, so its been a blessing.”

The potential for APS baseball players has continued to improve. Xzavion Curry, who graduated from Mays High School, was the first African American to start as a freshman for Georgia Tech on Opening Day. Termarr Johnson, who was drafted fourth overall in the 2022 MLB Draft, also graduated from Mays High School.

This year’s APS MVP of the All-Star game was Jaylen Woods from Mays. Even though runs were tough to come across, Woods was able to drive one in for the APS team.

“He’s been doing that all year,” Mays head coach Jason Anderson said. “He got a hit and an RBI today, and that pretty much locked it up for him as the MVP. “It’s good to see one of my guys get the MVP today.”

APS All-Star Anthony Bivens from Mays HS ready for the first pitch.

The players from Mays High School wore jerseys honoring former Mays baseball coach Mike “Big Mike” Jennings, who passed away March 30, 2023.

“He’s been a pillar of the community for boys and girls,” Anderson said. “They’re adults now, and they remember all the things Coach Mike did to help them with baseball and softball. Having those jerseys on means a lot to the players.”

The All-Star game drew a supportive crowd to Hank Aaron Field, and the All-Stars put on a thrilling show. Clutch hits, close plays at the plate and a lot of stolen bases kept everyone entertained for all seven innings.

It was a fun evening for the All-Stars and the fans. Hopefully, next year’s APS All-Stars will come out with the win.

“We have a lot of talented people coming up for next year,” Christian said. “We had a lot of talented people this year, so I’m excited to see the future of APS baseball. We’re just letting everybody know baseball is alive in the city.”

2023 APS All-Star Roster

• Anthony Bivens, Mays
• Jerimiah Carroll, Mays
• Jaylen Woods, Mays
• Jerimiah Woody, Mays
• Kaleb Bodeman, Maynard Jackson
• Jay Wilcox, Maynard Jackson
• Zack Kelley, Maynard Jackson
• Dakota Frady, Maynard Jackson
• Eli Mulino, Maynard Jackson
• Gio D’alesio, Maynard Jackson
• Jayden Daniels, Drew Charter
• Keymon Usher, KIPP
• Lamariyea Williams, Carver
• Malik Harris, Carver
• Devin Meadows, Carver
• Antonio Anderson, North Atlanta
• Isaiah Drake, North Atlanta
• Deion Jones, Douglass
• Kaleb Garrett, Douglass

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