The District 10-3A baseball all-district honors recognized local athletic talent with Van Alstyne senior Chase Wilson being named the district’s Most Valuable Player, junior Rhett Gallagher picking up Pitcher of the Year and head baseball coach Jimmy Haynes earning Coach of the Year accolades.
The 2018 season saw the Panthers advance to the Class 3A Region II area round series where they fell to Grand Saline in Game 3 after opening the series with a 10-8 victory earlier in May. Grand Saline swept the double-header on Saturday, May 12, 8-5 after a 4-3 win, to move to the region quarterfinals.
The Panthers (17-8) saw five other players recognized for their talent this season. Sophomore pitcher Sam Tormos was a first-team all-district selection for Van Alstyne and was joined on the first-team by senior catcher Tyler Neshyba, senior infielder Hunter Hutchison, senior outfielder Scott Taylor and senior designated hitter Jordan Velekei.
“I love the game of baseball and pitching is one of the parts of the game that I like to do,” Tormos said. “For me, the more pressure I feel up on the mound, the better. I’m very blessed to be rewarded for something I love doing.”
Junior outfielder Tyler Wilson also picked up second-team all-district honors for Van Alstyne.
Meanwhile, Howe (12-9) saw junior infielder Spencer Akins and senior outfielder Cade Courtney earn first-team selections. The Bulldogs advanced to the playoffs this season, falling behind early in the first round. They were eliminated by Whitesboro in a Class 3A Region II bi-district series sweep in early May.
“I could always count on them [all-district first team players] performing, great work ethic, always reliable,” Howe head coach James Beebe said. “They put the team first — unselfish — and I’m very proud of them for getting this award, and I’m glad they are getting recognized.”
Five more Bulldogs were honored with second-team all-district honors, including senior pitcher Peyton Reagan, freshman catcher Cirby Coheley, junior infielder Bryce Krantz, junior outfielder Mason Riggs and junior designated hitter Parker Blount.
Additionally, a number of players from both teams were recognized with honorable mentions and academic all-district distinctions.
Van Alstyne honorable mentions went out to junior Nathan Cuthbertson, senior Zane Madison, junior Chandler David, sophomore Cam Montgomery and senior Vance Watkins while the team demonstrated their academic drive with 17 players earning academic all-district — the highest number of players honored in the district.
Academic all-district players included Gallagher, Wilson, Cuthbertson, junior Sam Mosby, Tormos, Wilson, Neshyba, David, Watkins, Montgomery, sophomore Zach Smith, junior Tyler Sperry, Veleki, junior Jesse Love, Taylor, Hutchison and Madison.
Senior Chase Barnett and junior Dyson Dillard earned honorable mention all-district for Howe while junior Garret Johnson, Akins and Courtney all earned academic all-district for the Bulldogs.
Top District 10-3A awards also went to Leonard senior Michael Schulze as Defensive Most Valuable Player, Whitewright sophomore Jake Claborn as Newcomer of the Year and Leonard junior Trenton Paskero as Offensive Most Valuable Player.
Bryce Brakebill contributed to this report.