OXFORD — Wes Brooks has sold his Oxford baseball players on a culture.
Ask him about a player’s hits and batting average, and he’ll talk quality at-bats. Ask him about the hows and whys of his team’s successes, and he’ll answer with deep, thoughtful recitations of philosophy.
He’s won a state championship, and his teams keep winning.
The Yellow Jackets won another area and Calhoun County title this season, going 25-10 and earning Brooks selection as The Anniston Star’s Calhoun County Class 4A-6A baseball coach of the year.
The only team among the county’s big schools to make the playoffs, Oxford fell in a first-round series against eventual 6A champion Hazel Green. The series went the full three games, with Oxford winning the opener 15-1 then falling in a pair of one-run games.
With Oxford’s No. 3 starting pitcher, Hayden Green, ill and unable to pitch, Hazel Green battled back from a 4-1 deficit to win 6-5 in Game 3.
Brooks said he and his team expected a deeper run in 2018, but who knew the eventual state champion would finish second in its area and catch Oxford short-handed in the first round?
He handled it in his philosophical way, saying the game wasn’t ready to reward a talented team that worked hard.
“By the way they’ve played the game,” Brooks said, “they’ve just kind of left a legacy with this program, with the school, with the community, with the city, and you can obviously see the fans with a lot of support because of the way these guys play the game.”