By Angie Ledbetter
Seth Barnett, a senior at North Delta School loves the game of baseball. He plays left field while wearing No. 12 on his jersey. After playing from the age of 7 to 12 as a catcher, he decided to take a break and try something different.
He picked up the game of golf at that time and loves being on the golf course. Golf has become his passion over the last few years but he still enjoys other sports.
Barnett transferred to North Delta School his tenth grade year to play football with his best friend, Dakota Mabry. After missing being on the baseball field, he took the game back up his junior year at North Delta. Barnett missed the intensity of the game the most.
“I loved the intensity when getting up to bat. You’ve got to make something happen when you’re up there,” said Barnett.
Even though he played catcher until he was 12, he likes playing left field better.
Barnett talked about the baseball program at North Delta.
“It’s getting better. Coach Hardy is a real good guy and a good coach and I like him a lot. Coach Stone is a good thing that has happened to the North Delta baseball program. He knows a lot about baseball and he’s going to teach North Delta a lot about it.
“The season has been going pretty good,” said Barnett. “I plan on us winning many district games and I think that we will do well in our district.”
The Green Wave went up against a tough 3A Magnolia Heights team from Barnett’s home town, of Senatobia and lost.
“We just looked at it as another game and didn’t get our heads down. We put that game behind us and went to the next game. We’ve done well since then.”
Barnett said that it is pretty tough having only four seniors on the team.
“We needed some older players but we just have to deal with what we have. In the infield, we are really young. I think that the team has gotten better as the season went on and our bats started to click.”
Barnett looks at himself as a leader.
“All the young players look up to the seniors as leaders. I think I can help the younger players on the team by telling them to keep their heads up and make sure they are always at practice and doing their jobs.”
At the time of this interview, Barnett thought Delta was going to be his team’s toughest opponent.
“I think that they will be tough but we can overcome them and win,” he said. “We came out and lost to Clarksdale Lee and then to Magnolia Heights, but came back and won our first district game against Desoto. The Clarksdale Lee game was very close. We got down but came back and started making some runs and lost it by one run. The Magnolia Heights team was a very good team with a lot of talent and we knew that.”
Barnett talked about how important pitching is on a team.
“It is probably one of the most important things that you need on a team. You always need a bunch of good pitchers who can back up each other on a team.”
The Green Wave only had 16 games on their schedule this season.
“I think that it was a disadvantage for us to have only 16 games on our schedule,” said Barnett. “When it came down to it, we just had to practice harder, pay more attention in practice, and make things good. We started practicing early even when we didn’t have the entire team on the field. We practiced every afternoon.”
There would have been another senior on the 2008 baseball team this year, Michael Johnson. Barnett said Johnson’s death has affected him a lot.
“One of the main reasons that he came to North Delta was to play baseball and we all looked forward to him playing with us,” Barnett said. “He was supposed to have been in the outfield with me so that really affected me. We had to regroup and we wanted to play this season for Mike.
“I think that it made us as a team play harder and win for Mike,” said Barnett. “I know that I have played harder to win for him.”
The North Delta baseball team proudly wears MJ #2 monogrammed on their baseball caps in memory of Johnson.
“I was glad they put that on our caps,” said Barnett. “It was a really good thing for him and for our team.”
When not playing baseball and golf, Barnett spends his time hanging out with his friends, hunting and fishing.
He has a big support group of family that attends his games. His father, Jeff Barnett lives in Marion, Ark. so he does not make many games.
His mother and step-father, Tammy and Brad Lance live in Senatobia. Barnett’s mother makes as many games as she can when her job allows. He has two brothers, Ike Barnett who is 22 and Mark Lance age 11, who also cheer him on.
Barnett said the one person who inspired him to play sports is his older brother, Ike. Ike played football and baseball.
After graduating from North Delta in May, Barnett plans to attend Mississippi State University but does not plan to play any sports.