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Enjoyable ride for Callaway’s Wright

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

It was a memorable ride for Dawson Wright and his fellow seniors on the Callaway High baseball team.

Since the start of the 2017 season, the Cavaliers have won two region championships, and they’ve made two appearances in the Class AA state semifinals.

The Cavaliers were hoping to make another playoff run this year, but the season was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Even though the season ended prematurely, Wright and the other seniors will leave school with a lengthy list of individual and team accomplishments.

“Just to be a part of those high-stakes game was fun, including that game against Rockmart last year (in the state semifinals),” said Wright, a right-handed pitcher and infielder. “That’s the biggest game I’ve ever been in, and to be a part of all the final fours, and region championships, and everything. It was special.”

Wright joined the program as an eighth-grader, and he became a part of the varsity team in 2017 as Callaway won a region title and reached the second round of the state playoffs.

In 2018, Callaway won another region title and advanced to the state semifinals before losing to Benedictine.

Wright’s role increased dramatically in 2019, and he was the game one starting pitcher throughout the playoffs and Callaway went 4-0 in those games.

Wright’s shining moment came in the second round of the state playoffs when he threw a complete-game three-hitter as Callaway beat Model 3-0.

Wright also came up big in the first round of the playoffs when he held Banks County to one run in five innings as Callaway won the series opener 11-1.

Wright started game one of a quarterfinal series against Bacon County as Callaway won 9-8.

In the semifinals against Rockmart, Wright started and pitched 4 1/3 innings and was the winning pitcher in a 5-4 win.

That series ultimately went to a third-and-deciding game, and Rockmart won 7-5 after rallying for five runs in the top of the seventh inning.

Wright was called upon in relief in that game, and he gave up the go-ahead triple in the seventh inning before getting the third out.

“It was a fun game, but in the end, it was just so hard,” Wright said. “We were one out away from being the first (Callaway) team to play for a state championship.”

Callaway’s 2018 season also came to an end in game three of a semifinal series with a 13-5 loss to Benedictine.

Despite the painful way the 2018 and 2019 seasons concluded, Wright savored his time as a Callaway baseball player.

“It means a lot to me, being (at Callaway High) for four years, and being on the baseball team for five,” Wright said. “It’s definitely going to stick with me forever.”

The Cavaliers were in the early stages of their region schedule when the 2020 season was suspended, and it was later canceled.

Wright enjoyed being an elder statesman on an inexperienced team.

“Being a senior, you have to take a leadership role,” Wright said. “It was fun, helping some of the eighth-graders and ninth-graders with how we practice, and how we do stuff, and just getting them used to the way we do it, and the fast pace. That was fun.”

While Wright isn’t sure what his post high-school plans will be, he isn’t going to be play baseball in college.

Three of his teammates, Wesley Marchman, Luke Swann and Jabari Smith, are going to play a sport in college.

“I’m happy for them,” Wright said. “It’s a big opportunity.”