Mooresville’s Ken Lackey was driven to thankful tears. Despite his age, he was neither the least bit embarrassed about them nor was he even attempting to hide them. In fact, they may have served as his badges of pride. He wasn’t alone by any means.
Lackey has a deep connection that runs true Blue Devils blue.
He wasn’t by himself.
Representing a generation connection, Lackey has now hit for the proverbial cycle in regards to his double-knotted ties to the school’s baseball team.
Not that long ago, or at least it seems that way, Ken was a regular attendee at all Devils games. That was the case as his son, Tyler, was a four-year pivotal participant as a player. Tyler Lackey served as a pitcher and regular every-other-game position player on Blue Devils teams that also enjoyed limited success over a four-season span.
“Still,’’ confessed the watery-eyed Ken Lackey, “it was nothing like this.”
The “this” in this case will continue to shine for additional generations to come. Mooresville, as a No. 11 seed tied with one other of the total of eight teams – two hailing from each of the NCHSAA’s for classifications – for having the lowest status among those in contention for state title, defied that to emerge as the lowest-seeded entry to capture a coveted championship crown.
With die-hard fan Ken Lackey among the horde in place, the first-time West Region winning Devils swept what wound up being their one-day doubleheader -- so forced after weather again played a role in the process – over East Region representative and No. 3 seed Corinth Holders by scores of 5-2 and 8-2 to merit the right to hoist the state champion trophy.
“Okay,’’ summed up the still celebrating Ken Lackey, “so we didn’t get it then. We have it now. It’s something that all of us can share.”
When Lackey refers to the “us,” it’s more than just in the general sense. He is among the many with deep-planted roots in the system. These days, he remains bonded to the program again thanks to his son. Tyler Lackey is one of the assistant coaches on the Blue Devils dugout staff, giving back to a program he played for. During games, he mans the first base coaching box while constantly providing encouraging words of his wisdom to all batters as well as those arriving on the bases.
The Lackeys represent a wide growing feeling of community pride that can be traced to connect products of the program from the past to the present. All the ones who have donned the team’s uniforms can claim some sort of credit for the program’s success. Naturally, all the ones currently donning the same garb can accept their deserved congratulations for allowing the program to achieve never-before attained success.
The path has also been paved for all future products as well. From now on, all players can be called products of a state championship organization.
It’s a cry that can be used to bridge all gaps between generations.