"Winning with a Yodel"

By: Louis Montesi, III
By: Louis Montesi, III
Some baseball coaches chew bubble gum. Others sit stoically in the dugout. Some can

West Lauderdale Head Baseball Coach Jerry Boatner

Since Jerry Boatner took over the West Lauderdale baseball program 41 years ago, two things have been consistent about his teams: the Knights win and their head coach yodels.

"You're going to have to come listen to it. It's crazy... something you've never heard before," said pitcher Will Stokes. "Something only he does."

"It's something he's been doing for a long time, and I don't know where it started," said senior catcher Blake Anderson.

Where and when did it start?

"When I came out of my momma's womb, I said BAYI BAYI BAYI," jokes Boatner.

"You hear little leaugers say, 'BAYI BAYI BAYI.' Well, I think I picked that up from the little league teams, and it's become my trademark now."

That may be true, but Boatner's real trademark is being a winner. He became Mississippi's all-time winningest baseball coach in March and shows no sign of stopping. He just likes to stay loose on the sidline while coaching the game he loves.

Sometimes he yodels. Sometimes he whistles.

"The whistle is an everyday thing, man," said third basebman Colton McKeithen. "He walks to practice... you hear the whistle. You might not see him, but you're going to hear the whistle."

Boatner's players have heard his yodel so often, they cand do it too.

The head coach said when he used to visit Mississippi State and other colleges, he would let out his unique yodel, and he was immediately recognized.

"It makes me feel good to know that I'm known for something that's unique."

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