With Bayou's 8-3 loss to the Heritage Academy Patriots in game two of the first round of the AAA State Baseball Playoffs Thursday night in Columbus, the Bayou Academy Colts closed out their season in the first round of the playoffs.
The season for Bayou was a very up and down year as the Colts finished the season 15-15 but they managed to finish second in District 1-AAA which gave them their 15 consecutive trip to the playoffs. That's an impressive string considering the fact that in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools you have to finish first or second in your district to advance to the postseason and to do that for consecutive 15 years, says a lot about the program's talent and coaches.
Over these years, it’s been fun to watch the team and one thing that's rewarding is when you get to see people grow and mature into adulthood with success.
Bayou head baseball coach Will Reed has been one of those people that has really come into his own.
Reed was a standout senior infielder on the Colts team when this playoff string began in 2004 when the Colts were AA.
After a successful college playing career with stops at Mississippi Delta Community College and Mississippi College, Reed returned to Bayou as an assistant coach for a couple of years and was named head coach for the 2012 season.
A lot of things have happened with Bayou over the last few years as the Colts have gone from playing in Class A to AA and now AAA since the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools have added the AAAA classification.
During that time, the Colts have remained in the postseason under Reed's leadership.
This year’s high school team at the end of the year featured 25 players with just three seniors. Along with playing the more experienced players, Reed and his coaching staff of Josh Cooley, Justus Kowalski and Cole Houlk have played some of the younger players at times during the season to see what they can do.
As a player, Reed always showed the maturity and poise that was above his years. As a young man who took over the team in his mid 20s, he continued to show that same type of maturity and poise.
Now at 31, he’s still leading the team to the best of his ability with that same type of mentally and work ethic. With his career record standing at 109-58-1 with five district championships, Reed’s body of work speaks for itself.
Also, the junior high team under the direction of Houlk featured some young players this year that have a great future on the high school level.
With the Colts losing just three seniors, the potential for great success in 2019 is limitless.