The all-time winningest baseball coach in MTSU history will be the guest speaker for the first Cannon County High School Baseball Winter Banquet, Feb. 2.
Steve Peterson, whose 760 wins are the most of any current Division I in-state head coach at his current school, said he was honored to be the first speaker for this type of event.
"When (CCHS Baseball Coach Tony Stinnett) called and told me about his idea for this banquet and asked if I would be the speaker I was truly honored," Peterson said. "I know (Stinnett) is committed to making baseball important in Cannon County and this is part of that process, so to be asked to speak at the first banquet means a lot to me. I'm excited about what is happening in Woodbury and Cannon County with baseball."
The CCHS Baseball Winter Banquet will take place in the CCHS Cafeteria, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m. The meal, catered by Prater's BBQ, will include ham, white beans, cole slaw, vegetable medley, roll, drink and dessert. Cost is $15 per person. In the event more than 200 tickets are sold the event will be moved into the CCHS Gymnasium.
The day will shape of as a personal "doubleheader" for Peterson, is the annual Groundhog Day Luncheon to benefit Blue Raider baseball is also scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 2, beginning at 11:30 a.m. in Murphy Center at MTSU.
According to Stinnett, who is in his first year as CCHS Baseball Coach, the purpose of the banquet is to recognize the program's 28 players and highlight the upcoming season while also having an opportunity to hear a great college baseball coach. He said this will be an annual event held on the first Thursday of February each year.
"I am excited about this banquet and the fact we have Coach Peterson as our first speaker," Stinnett said. "When we decided to go ahead with this idea he was my first choice. Coach Peterson is one of the best so to have the opportunity for our players and baseball enthusiasts to meet him and hear him talk about the game is exciting.
"Our players have worked hard since September and they are excited about the season ahead. They deserve something like this, and I believe it will be a success. I want people to understand this is Cannon County's team and this banquet is for all people involved with baseball in Cannon County, not just the high school team. We would love for the youth baseball players and their families to attend and get excited with us."
Peterson is a seven-time Coach of the Year and is a member of four Halls of Fame. He will begin his 25th season as the Blue Raiders' skipper when they open the season in February. Peterson has led MTSU to 11 regular-season conference championships, nine conference tournament championships, and his teams have earned nine NCAA Regional berths.
The veteran coach also has developed nine conference players of the year, 11 All-Americans and 43 first-team all-conference players. He also has had 56 of his Blue Raider players continue their career in professional baseball. Thirty-one of Peterson's former players are baseball coaches in either high school, college or professional baseball.
Tickets for the CCHS Baseball Winter Banquet can be purchased from any CCHS baseball player, The Cannon Courier or CCHS.