After two years of incomplete seasons, Peyton Fort ended his baseball career at Vidalia High on a high note, earning honorable mention honors on the 2021 Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 2A Baseball Team.
“That’s a big honor,” Fort said. “I’m grateful to my coaches and teammates.”
Fort injured his ACL and MCL against Grace Christian his sophomore season in the seventh game of the season on March 7, 2019.
“I stopped really hard to get back to first base and I heard it pop,” Fort said. “I crawled back to first to be safe. But I knew it was serious.”
Fort, the son of Alan and Vickie Fort, worked hard in rehabilitation, and by the start of the 2020 season was at full strength.
Last year, Vidalia had two wins before COVID-19 shut everything down. The Vikings posted wins over Adams County Christian School and Franklin Community Christian School.
“I was beginning to wonder if I was jinxed,” Fort said. “That was tough. When COVID really got serious I knew there was no way we were going to play again. I just went to the ballpark with my dad and hit around a lot and worked hard on keeping my focus.”
Fort injured his arm early this season, but was still able to play first base and get his at bats.
“I felt great and was hitting the ball well, and then I hurt my arm,” he said. “I came in knowing I had a lot to prove. I kept playing, but rested my arm. The middle of the season I was able to start pitching again. Nothing was going to stop me at that point.”
Fort batted .390 for the Vikings in his final season, and the southpaw posted a 3.1 earned run average.
“The sky is the limit for Peyton,” said Michael Norris, who was head baseball coach at Vidalia for two years before serving as an assistant last year after taking the head football job. “And he’s as good a young man as he is baseball player. He deserves everything good that happens to him.”
Fort has had a couple of offers to continue his playing career, but will attend Copiah-Lincoln in Natchez and begin work on an accounting tech degree.
“I just want to focus on school,” Fort said. “Baseball definitely helped me to focus on the little things and not take things for granted. I am really going to miss baseball and hanging out with my friends, though.”
Rosepine’s Ethan Frey, an LSU commitment, is the Class 2A Player of the Year after leading the Eagles to their first title with a .446 average, nine home runs, 45 RBI and 32 runs scored.
Rosepine baseball coach Jeff Smith claimed the LSWA’s 2A Coaches of the Year honors.
Notre Dame baseball players William Vice, Dom Thibodeaux and Ethan Menard made the Class 2A baseball team after the Pioneers also won the Division III baseball title.
Rosepine was also represented on the 2A baseball team by Jake Smith and Grant Ducote.
Mangham pitcher Kade Lively was named to the first team.