WILLIAMSON —The Williamson Daily News would like to announce the selection of the All-Area team from the boy’s 2016 baseball season.
The players from the first, and second team, along with honorable mention was derived from a combination of opinions from the coaches and the opinion of William Plaster, the sports editor of the Williamson Daily News.
This season was a great season to watch, it was full of action and surprises, complete with sideline drama for all ages.
Starting off with the bullpen of the first team you have Belfry’s Avery Browning, Mingo Central’s Thomas Harmon, and Phelps’s Dylan New. This bullpen is young and unpolished but loaded with talent. When the Pirates were forced rely on the freshman pitcher during the latter half of the season Browning stepped up and produced. Moving from a junior high environment to a high school District Tournament environment would be hard on any young pitcher but through determination Browning stayed focused and worked hard to pull the pirates out of a full-fledged tail spin on several occasions. Browning showed maturity in several games when he was able to come from behind and ignore the base runners and focus on the out at the plate. He showed fatigue late in the games but this player will be stronger and experienced in his years to come.
Thomas Harmon has an absolute rocket for an arm, under good circumstances. Harmon is developing a nasty curve ball that freezes opposing batters. Harmon falls into hardship with the rest of his team as they play like foster children at any field available due to the lack of a home field. The Miners played the majority of their home games at the old Gilbert High School field but they lack the training facilities to help keep their game sharp. Harmon is definitely a thrower. Numerous times, Harmon knocked off his own hat by throwing so hard.
Dylan New produced great results for the Phelps Hornets during last season. New was a lasting pitcher, he could last six or seven innings throwing upwards of 100 pitches a game. The Hornets are still ironing out the wrinkles with their program, they have a new coach, a new field, and a new attitude towards where they want their program to go. New was also a decent hitter for the Hornets, he finished the season with a batting average of .389. New just finished his sophomore season and will return next year to help the Hornets from the mound.
Leading the infield and the team is Belfry’s Garret Fannin. Fannin emits the persona of a veteran on the field. He gets behind his teammates and leads by example. Fannin played short stop for the Pirates and also filled in as a reserve pitcher when times were tough. Fannin was meticulous on the field making basic fundamentals look like second nature to him. Defenses were in trouble if they hit the ball on the ground anywhere around the six position.
Rahhkim Gray played any position on the field needed by ACA head Coach Don Lafferty. Gray made smart decisions on the field and coupled that with great athletic ability. Gray stayed on top of the ball at the plate and sucked up any ball around him on the infield. Gray was also in the Eagles pitching rotation and did well with a natural 2-3 inch curve on his pitch.
Nate Sanger plays the strong and silent role on the field. He was always ready and always on alert. Sanger had great game awareness that kept him one step ahead of the defense while running bases, something he did a lot. Sanger was one of the Pirates top batters and a clutch hitter in times of need.
Devin Poe brought the heat from the batters box, a four year player for the Miners, Head Coach Jared Lester said, “He just loves the game. I felt kinda bad because he suffered an injury to his knee mid-season and that limited him in his senior year.” Poe didn’t get a homer this season but he did have 14 RBI’s with tons of clutch hits. he finished the season with a batting average of .340.
No First Team outfield would be complete without Tug Valley’s lead off hitter, center fielder, Corbin Oliver. Oliver is a natural athlete and it shows in every sport he plays. Corbin was a go-to-guy when the Panthers needed a hit to get something going and he was extremely quick in center field. Oliver finished his senior season with the Panthers and deserved every opportunity available to continue playing ball at a higher level. No reports have been mentioned that Oliver received any offers to play collegiate ball and to myself that is an absolute shame for a player with so much raw talent.
Brandon Turmire kept the Hornets even in the outfield and infield. Turnmire was the type of player that could go unnoticed until he was missing then it was evident something big was missing. Turnmire also did a great job on the mound for the Hornets in his freshman season. Turnmire has the potential to be a big time standout player in the 60th District and 15th region in his later years.
Cameron Catron is another Belfry veteran that is a coaches dream. Catron is extremely coach able and willing to improve. Catron believes in the concept of a team, he sets the standard for the younger players and gives 110% in every game. What Catron doesn’t have in athletic ability he more than makes up for in determination, he has a pure never quit attitude.
Hunter Lester brings to the first team the ability to run. He was Mingo Central’s leading scorer, with great game awareness and the speed to match Lester is the first pinch runner to have in mind for other important infield players.
Keilan Carr is another great pinch-runner. Carr is filled to the brim with athletic ability, he could have been an immediate starter on any other team the the Belfry Pirates. He is long legged with a long stride, he has the ability to lead off of the bag farther than most players at the high school level. Carr is one player that is full of emotion and passion, he’s also dug-out cut up, which is welcomed on the Williamson Daily News’s All-Area team.
Micheal Dotson ended his senior season with the Miners in a 3-0 sectional loss at Tolsia High School. Dotson caught nearly every hit in left field. Dotson made good contact with the ball and showed speed between the bags. His small frame was overshadowed by his athletic ability and determination.
Tyler Fields sets behind the plate for the First team. Fields has committed to continue his baseball career at the University of Pikeville and the Bears have made a good choice. Fields plays the catcher position the way a shortstop plays the infield; he is always on feet and quick after the ball. Fields played focused and exact baseball, he played high school ball with the maturity of a collegiate player. Fields was able to fine tune his skills during his senior season in order to prepare for next years time in the big leagues.
Ethan Collins led the Miners from behind the plate. His approachable demeanor makes him a natural leader. Collins finished his senior season at Mingo Central with plenty of accolades to put on the mantle. Collins landed on the All-state team and the All-Cardinal Conference team. Collins finished the season season with a batting average of .438 with three home runs and 19 RBI’s.
P: Avery Browning – Belfry
P: Thomas Harmon – Mingo Central
P: Dylan New – Phelps
IF: Raahkim Gray – ACA
IF: Garrett Fannin – Belfry (captain)
IF: Nate Sanger – Belfry
IF: Devin Poe – Mingo Central
OF: Corbin Oliver – Tug Valley
OF: Brandon Turnmire – Phelps
OF: Cameron Catron – Belfry
UTIL: Hunter Lester – Mingo Central
UTIL: Kielan Carr – Blefry
UTIL: Micheal Dotson -Mingo Central
C: Tyler Fields – Belfry
C: Ethan Collins – Mingo Central
P: Kaleb Taylor -Belfry
P: Andrew Allen – Mingo Central
P: Matt Fought – Belfry
IF: Chase Bentley – Mingo Central (Captain)
IF: Benjamin Hurley- Phelps
IF: Colton Cross – Belfry
IF: Tyler Estepp- Tug Valley
IF: Christian Mounts – Phelps
OF: Austin Woolum – Belfry
OF: Devin Varney – Belfry
OF: Corey Preece – ACA
UTIL: Chris Muncy -ACA
UTIL: Bailey Hurley – Phelps
UTIL: Tyler Lafferty – ACA
UTIL: Noah Lucas – Tug Valley
C: Zach Samuel -Tug Valley
C: Kinzer Dotson – Phelps
ACA: Chris Osbourne, Isaiah Hackney, Skylar Dingess, Austin Chafin
Belfry: Austin Dotson, Dagen Rash
Mingo Central: Josh Murphy
Phelps: Peyton Rife, Ronald Prater
Tug Valley – Chandler Runyon, Gage Stacy, Andrew Hundley, Tim Sturgell, Dylan Dotson
(William Plaster is the sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News, he can be reached at 304-235-4242 ext. 2274 or at [email protected] or on twitter @sidplaster)