Pack wins wild one

Published 5:15 pm Friday, May 6, 2011

On Thursday Washington’s Jake Duke (second from left) and Johnny Broadway (second from right) received the Watkins Award which is handed out to the baseball player and football player that best demonstrates leadership and dedication to the team. The Watkins Award was created by Wayne (third from left) and Kimberly (center) Watkins in honor of their late son Trent Watkins who played football and baseball for the Pam Pack before graduating in 2002. Watkins died in a tragic motorcycle accident in 2004. Pictured to the left is WHS baseball coach Matt Burnett, while to the right is football coach Sports Sawyer. Trent Watkins’ brother Ryal Watkins is pictured to the right of Kimberly Watkins. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

It may not have been how Washington head coach Matt Burnett drew it up, but there is no doubt he was happy with the results as the Pam Pack was able to squeeze past Havelock 3-2 on Thursday as the winning run scored on a would-be sac bunt.

The wild win capped off a fantastic day that began with a pregame ceremony in which the Watkins Athletic Award in Memory of Trent Emery Watkins was handed out right before Washington honored seniors Jake Duke, Hatteras Brooks, Jake Skirko and Blake Beddard.

The late Watkins, a 2002 Washington High School graduate, starred as a football player and a baseball player for the Pam Pack. Watkins died in a tragic motorcycle accident in April 2004.

In honor of Trent Watkins, his parents Kimberly and Wayne created the Watkins Award, which gives $750 scholarships to both the senior football player and baseball player that best demonstrates strength of character, a positive attitude and dedication to his team as chosen by the players’ coaches.

On Thursday, tight end Johnny Broadway and shortstop Jake Duke were tabbed this year’s winners and both recipients were extremely honored.

“It means a lot to get this award,” Duke said. “To have the coaches’ vote means a lot to me.”

Washington baseball coach Matt Burnett said Duke was a great candidate for the Watkins Award.

“Jake is the perfect choice because he is a guy that was a four-year starter and he is a guy who really put in the time, and when you look at all the things the award stands for, Jake is the guy who really is the epitome of all that,” Burnett said. “We talked as a staff and Coach (Joe) Duke (Jake’s father) excused himself from the vote but it was a fairly unanimous choice.”

Like Duke, Broadway said he was honored to be chosen by the coaching staff to receive the award.

“There are a lot of seniors on the team and to have the coaches choose me means a lot,” Broadway said. “I appreciate that they thought that much of me.”

Washington football coach Sport Sawyer, who was an assistant coach when Waktins starred for the Pack, said Broadway was selected because he and Watkins shared a lot of similar traits.

“Johnny had some of the same characteristics as far as being a very good young man who comes from a very good family and played hard all the time,” Sawyer said.

Broadway will be going to UNC-Wilmington and has not declared a major yet while Duke said he is leaning towards Pitt C.C. and wants to study civil engineering.

After the ceremony Kimberly and Wayne Watkins both said they were happy for this year’s recipients.

“We’re delighted, we always look forward to this and it was so nice to see some of the guys that exhibit some of the same qualities that our Trent had. I think they were great choices,” Kimberly said.

“I have seen Duke play and he seems to be a really good kid. I have also seen Broadway play because I go to all the football games and I think they are both two quality representatives.”

Once the game began, Havelock looked like it was going to spoil the good times as it took advantage of a Pam Pack error to take a 1-0 lead.

From that point on Washington’s Hatteras Brooks squared off with Aron Rossi in a fantastic pitcher’s duel as both hurlers made quick work of their respective opposing lineups.

The Pam Pack finally got to Rossi in the bottom of the fifth when Brooks reached base on a walk and Ryan Hardison got on board thanks to an error and Isiah Taylor drew a walk to load the bases for Duke, who responded by ripping a two-run double to take a 2-1 advantage.

The Rams countered in the top of the seventh when James Coty led the inning off by reaching base on an error. Brooks was able to get the next two batters out, but could not retire J.C. Hartman, who hit a run-scoring single.

After Havelock took advantage of a Washington error to tie the game, the Pack quickly returned the favor. Brooks began the inning with a sharply hit single and was replaced by pinch runner Jimmy Williams. Will Phelps came to bat and laid down a sacrifice bunt which was fielded and thrown to first in time to get him out. With the defense out of position, Williams hung in between second and third base until a Havelock player fired the ball in the direction of second base but nobody caught and the ball rolled into left field allowing Williams to score the winning run.

“Any win is big and to win on a night like this where there was a lot of stuff going on and a lot of emotions ą we had the Watkins’ family here and held our Senior Night ą it’s always good to go out with a win,” Burnett said. “I’m real proud of our guys. I’m proud of the way they played and the way they persevered.”

With a week to go before the postseason begins, the Pam Pack added a game to its schedule and will play Northside on Tuesday at home.

Havelock 100 000 1 — 2 6 2

Washington 000 020 1 — 3 3 3

WP: Hatteras Brooks; LP: Aron Rossi

Hitting: H ą Garrett Crowe 2-3, Tyler Merlal 2-3 (2B), James Coty 1-3, J.C. Hartman 1-3 (RBI); W ą Jake Duke 1-3 (RBI, 2B), David McIver 1-3, Hatteras Brooks 1-2.