By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal
As Scott Ming went about his duties of being a student manager for the baseball team during Mississippi State’s run to the National Championship series this past month, it had to conjure up some familiar feelings for the Winston County native.
Being part of back-to-back MSHAA Class 3A State Football Championship teams at Louisville High School in 2007 and 2008 make him well aware of the thrill of being part of a team making a title run, and the adrenaline rush that comes with it.
“It was incredible to be actually playing for a National Championship and being a part of the best athletic team in Mississippi State history,” said Ming, a 2009 graduate of LHS. “It’s something I will remember forever.”
Sure, Ming — who just finished his second year as part of a five-man student manager team at MSU after two years with similar duties at East Central Community College — would have loved to have seen the Bulldogs win the title, but he said it doesn’t take anything away from the journey.
“They were just a really special group of guys,” Ming said of the MSU baseball team that won the Starkville Regional, then traveled to Virginia to knock off the Cavaliers in a Super Regional to earn a spot in the College World Series in Omaha, before falling to UCLA in two straight games in the title series. “They are a class act all the way around. We were always going to hang out with them at their apartments and they would come in the dugout and talk with you during the game. They never talked down to you. They talked with you.”
Ming, who has three semesters left before graduating at MSU, said he will focus on his education more next year, as he begins to get ready to become a teacher/coach.
“That’s really what I want to do,” he said. “I love baseball, but would like to coach football too if I can. I always knew I wanted to do something with sports.”
Ming played tight end for the LHS football team, as well as first base and outfield for the baseball team. When it became obvious that he wasn’t going to be able to play athletics on the next level, he began to look at his options.
“I talked to (former LHS head baseball coach) Justin Reed and he told me about coach (Neil) Holliman at East Central,” Ming said. “I went and met with him and he offered me a position for two years. When I was almost done there I talked about how great it would be to be able to do this on the next level and he helped me get in touch with Mississippi State. It’s just been incredible.”
After a year at MSU as a volunteer, he received a tuition and books scholarship this past season. But it was well earned.
“There really is a lot to it,” Ming said. “We have to be there at 5:30 or 6 in the morning to get everything ready for practice during the fall and during the spring there is practice and also the game day responsibilities. It keeps all five of us really busy.”
The son of Phillip and Natalie Ming was able to make all but one of the team’s road trips this year, including the run through the postseason.
While the work on the road can be tiring, it says it’s really tough at home. He and another of the managers are responsible for washing the opponents uniforms when they pay a visit to Starkville and Dudy Noble Field.
“It’s really tough on those weekend series,” he said. “We do all what we have to do for our team, then we go and get their uniforms at wherever they are staying, even if it’s in Columbus. Then we bring them back to school and wash them and take them back to their hotel. Sometimes we’re not done until 3:30 or four in the morning. Then it’s back up at 8:30 or 9 to begin getting ready for the next game.”
While Ming obviously built up many memories during his two-year stint as a student manger at MSU, he also added to a very important jewelry collection.
The Bulldogs received rings for winning the SEC Baseball Tournament in 2012 and will also be getting rings for participating in the 2013 College World Series. Ming said those would go nicely with his two LHS state football championship rings.