By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
Two teams of Starkville celebrities will face off on the softball field during the Rockin’ the Park event at the Starkville Sportsplex on Sept. 17.
Team captains Mayor Parker Wiseman and Mississippi State University Athletic Director Scott Stricklin have assembled some of the biggest names in Starkville and MSU to play a friendly, but decidedly competitive game of softball.
“I think it’s going to be an excellent event. It’s wonderful to get the university and the city together for something that should be fun for the whole community,” Wiseman said. “I’m optimistic. I’ve seen the roster for the university — they’re going to have a tough bunch, but I think we do, too.”
Batting for the Wiseman’s team will be Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver; Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors President Marvell Howard; Starkville first lady Lindsey Wiseman; Pediatrician Paur Ruff; Larnzy Carpenter, pastor of Longview Baptist Church; hometown NBA star Travis Outlaw; Joseph Stone, pastor of Longview Baptist Church; Stennis Institute of Government Project Manager Keisha Perry; Susan Smith, director of Weekday Ministries at First United Methodist Church; FUMC Youth Director Wayne Hill; Kristie Williams, Starkville High School teacher and basketball coach; Brickfire Project Executive Director Cheikh Taylor; and Clay Warden, the director of children and youth ministries at First Presbyterian Church.
While Wiseman’s team is full of community leaders, Stricklin’s lineup features a who’s-who of MSU athletics.
“It’s a neat event. Obviously anything that helps the city is a good thing for all of us that call Starkville home,” Stricklin said. “That being said, winning is a big thing for us over here at the athletic department on campus. We’re not planning on losing.”
Stricklin’s team includes former MSU and NFL player and current MSU instructor Glen Young; MSU baseball coach John Cohen; MSU softball coach Vann Steudenmann; Meo Stansbury, the wife of MSU basketball coach Rick Stansbury; former MSU baseball pitcher and minor league player Jesse Carver; MSU football player and coach Rockey Felker; former MSU softball and basketball player Megan O’Nan; MSU volleyball coach Jenny Hazelwood; MSU women’s soccer coach Neil MacDonald; MSU outreach director Jeffery Rupp; and MSU assistant baseball coach Nick Mingione.
“We look forward to a fun event that brings the community and MSU together,” Starkville Parks and Recreation Director Matthew Rye said.
The game will start at 5 p.m. and will be followed by a concert.