By Robert Wilson

When four-time defending MAIS champion Jackson Prep played Madison-Ridgeland Academy last week, not only did it feature two of Mississippi’s top teams, but it was also likely the only matchup between two assistant coaches who were two of the best. former major league players.

Assistant prep coach and hitting coach Jay Powell played 11 years as a major league pitcher before an injury ended his career in 2005 while pitching for the Chicago Braves. Atlanta. Powell was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series for the Florida Marlins. He also has the most consecutive seasons pitched without a losing record among pitchers who pitched primarily on relief in major league history. Powell was a star at West Lauderdale High and Mississippi State and was a first-round pick in the 1993 major league draft.

Powell, 50, was head coach at Jackson Academy for 12 seasons and has been in Prep for three seasons. His eldest son, Wyatt, played football and baseball at JA and played football at Mississippi State. His youngest son, Carson, is a freshman in Prep and plays football, baseball, and track and field.

Powell was a baseball analyst on the SEC Network and the MSU Baseball Radio Network.

Chris Snopek, an MRA assistant batting coach and bench coach, played four years as a major league infielder and finished his career in 1998. Snopek, from Kentucky, was a star at Ole Miss and has was a sixth-round pick in the 1992 major league draft.

Snopek, 51, was an assistant coach for eight seasons at MRA. It also created the Snopek Baseball Group Sox in 2020 and has programs in Jackson, Hattiesburg and Auburn, Ala. The SBG Sox has had 90 high school players signed up to play college baseball over the past two and a half years. Metro Jackson players Hunter Hines (Madison Central and MSU) and Niko Mazza (MRA and Southern Miss) are two of the current alumni of the SBG Sox program. Snopek also has a softball program (Snopek Softball Group).

Snopek’s oldest son, Christopher, played baseball at MRA and plays at Harvard. His youngest son, John Witt, is a sophomore at MRA and is the starting third baseman.

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