by Hale Hughes
The 2016 baseball and softball All District selections were announced this past week for District 22-3A. District representatives made their choices and both teams were heavily occupied by Woodville Eagles. It comes as no surprise to the Woodville faithful, who all along have known that WHS teams are loaded with talent, blessed with deep skills and have a great understanding of the game and are never short on effort.
Boys chosen for first team honors were Tyler Hollingsworth, pitcher; Marcos Broom, catcher; and Stephen Thomas, outfield. Ty Bryant, pitcher; Reed Weaver, infield; David Whitehead, infield; Kris Traylor, outfield; and Ivan Lockhart, outfield were named to the second team. Cade Bass and Wyatt Bell were infield honorable mention selections.
Eight out of the nine Lady Eagle starters were named to the first team or were tabbed in the superlatives. The superlative honors were swept by the Lady Eagles with Shelby Mixon being named as the District 22-3A MVP. The Defensive Player of the Year went to Faith Sirmons, catche, and Bailey Stewart was named as the Offensive Player of the Year.
Players named to the first team from the Lady Eagles were Mika Maxwell, 1B; Avery Tolar, Infield; Chloe Weeks, Infield; Gracin McCollum, OF; and Madison Mahaffey, OF. Senior Haylie Tullos was named as the second team OF and Kaitlyn Odom was named to the second team as an infielder.
Head coaches from both squads had plenty of positives to say about the players selected for All-District honors this year.
Coach Lance Standley said it was a testament to his team that no members were named superlatively. "I guess we played as a team so well. Everyone stepped up at different times and we never just leaned on one person," said Standley. "Tyler Hollingsworth had a great year and went 7-0 as a starter, and I thought that was pretty exceptional," he added. "I thought he carried us as a player and a leader."
Standley continued, "Stephen Thomas led the team in hitting all year, Marcos Broom had a great year as a freshman and got a lot stronger and became a better hitter, especially in playoff games." Standley then spoke of the players named to the second team. "Ty Bryant did great and was very coachable. He said 'Yes Sir' to everything we tried to teach in the bull pen and will be a special player with two more years playing time remaining. David Whitehead is a three-sport athlete and made good plays at second who will also devlop with two years to play. Reed Weaver is a special player for sure," Standley noted. "He played amazing this year. He started the season at second, but we moved him to short and he only made three errors the entire season at a position he had never played before. He is an amazing player for this team. Kris Traylor is one who used his tremendous athleticism to make some big hits at significant times this year. Ivan Lockhart made some big hits and producing, especially from the lead off hitter position and putting pressure on the other team is what he is most remembered for amongst the coaches in the district. Cade Bass had a good year for us having some timely hits that produced runs and made some incredible picks for us at first base. Wyatt Bell is another great story for this team. He started on the JV team but worked and earned his way onto the varsity team and he just loves the game.
Mixon had this to say about his girls who were selected. "Mika was a presence at the plate from what she'd done in the past.
Players knew her when she came up to bat." Regarding the other infield positions, Mixon commented, "Coming in to this year, the left side of our infield was a big question mark after losing graduating seniors Ashton Weatherford and Kenzie McGallion. Avery and Chloe answered that question and were rock solid for us this year and both deserve the recognition with first team honors. Madison Mahaffey and Gracin McCollum helped improve our outfield and clearly earned their first team nod. Our outfield was definitely a strong point for us this year." Mixon paused during the interview and flatly stated, "I want to stop and say something about Tullos. She is one that always showed in the past during practices that she could play a little bit, you know, showed real promise. But this year, she was finally able to take it from practice to the game and she is just one of those kids you pull for and root for because she works so hard and just stays at it. I was just proud of the way she stepped up and played this year. She was a pleasure to coach." Mixon closed his comments and spoke about Tullos, McCollum and Mahaffey as a unit. "As a group, they finally made a jump from the year before and they each played like they were capable of. They've always been good, but they just came together this year and became great."
"Yeah, I thought our team was well represented." Mixon said with a smile.