|Wildcats place 10 on All-District team: Riley, Aguilar and Hammack receive Superlative honors|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
May 19, 2006 - After finishing the district season at 10-0 and making it to the area round of the Class 4A playoffs, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats received 10 nominations on the All-District team this week.
"It meant a lot, and I told the guys that they took me in with open arms and were very coachable and it was the best season that I have experienced in my nine-year career," said first-year coach Jerrod Hammack. "It was a fun year and the 10-0 season is something that they will always remember. It was a disappointing ending, but they should be proud of the season."
Senior second baseman Josh Riley was a unanimous selection for 12-4A Most Valuable Player while classmate Alex Aguilar was awarded Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season. Riley finished the district season with a .657 batting average on 23-of-35 with 17 RBI.
"Josh was a unanimous decision for the best player in the district, and obviously he is going to be a guy that we are going to miss. I think he is the best high school hitter that I have seen in person and certainly the best that I have ever coached," Hammack said. "He is a great player and did a great job on defense, and he is going to make somebody a steal next year wherever he gets to play."
Hammack said Aguilar deserved to be a repeat winner as the senior had a 1.72 ERA and was 3-0 in district play. He was also a unanimous selection by the coaches.
"I don't think it was any doubt that Alex was the best pitcher in the district," the coach said. "He showed that throughout even though he did miss a couple of starts due to injury. He struggled at the end of the season, but he did a great job for us all year long."
Other superlative honors were given to Paris senior Thomas Watson as the offensive MVP, Texas High senior Jeffery Meadows as the defensive MVP, Texas High freshman Josh Turley and Paris sophomore Chris Matthews were Co-Newcomer of the Year and Hammack was named as the Coach of the Year.
Sulphur Springs had three more unanimous decisions on the First Team as seniors third baseman Casey McMahan, shortstop Blake Wells and center fielder Jayden Spencer were named to the team, and Hammack said Spencer's accomplishments in the outfield helped in receiving the award.
"Jayden is an outstanding young man and goes about his business with integrity and you don't have many of those guys," he said. "He did a great job for us at the lead-off spot and played a great center field for us. He will be sorely missed for us next year."
McMahan finished the district season with a .333 batting average (11-of-33) with eight runs scored, three doubles, six RBI and two walks, while Wells went 7-of-27 (.259), with 10 runs scored and four RBI. He also had three doubles. Spencer was 15-of-37 (.405) in the lead-off position with 13 runs scored, eight RBI, three hit by pitch and three doubles.
Hammack said on the Second Team, senior pitcher Jake Broumley was deserving of a First Team nomination but the district coaches decided a Second Team fit his season. Broumley finished the year 5-0 with a 3.04 ERA in 27 2/3 innings for the Wildcats.
"It definitely was a big surprise, and he was nominated for First Team pitcher because I thought he had the best numbers, and he deserved to be on the First Team," Hammack said.
"He did his job on the mound this year and obviously get better as the year went along. He threw his best game of the year in the second game of the (area playoff) series."
Senior Scott Stewart was awarded as an Honorable Mention catcher after batting .250 in district play with a .351 on-base percentage. He was 8-of-32 with seven RBI in district.
Juniors first baseman Tyler Rhoades and outfielder Jake North made the Second Team, and Hammack said having those players return means a lot to the program.
Rhoades ended the district season with a .267 batting average going 8-of-30 with 10 runs scored, eight RBI, two doubles and one home run, while North went 4-of-11 with a .367 average. He also had three RBI, three runs scored and one double.
"We got two returning All-District players next year and we have talked with the coaches and have contemplated moving Tyler to third base and have Clay Wilks - which is another good hitter - at first base and there are a lot of options that we can do with those two players," Hammack said.
Hammack said with five players returning from this year's team, those players will be expected to carry a big load next season along with sophomores Jeff Beck, Brittain Diamond and Josh Dunn.
"It is going to be very important," he said. "It was nice to be able to play all of those juniors and they are all really good kids. Another reason for us to bring up those sophomores was to give them some experience and those three guys are going to be expected to carry a load next year as juniors."
District 12-4A All-District team:
MVP - *Josh Riley, Sr., Sulphur Springs.
Pitcher of the Year - *Alex Aguilar, Sr., Sulphur Springs.
Offensive MVP - Thomas Watson, Sr., Paris.
Defensive MVP - Jeffery Meadows, Sr., Texas High.
Co-Newcomer of the Year - Josh Turley, Fr., Texas High; Chris Matthews, Soph., Paris.
Coach of the Year - Jerrod Hammack, Sulphur Springs.
First Team All-District
Pitchers - *Travis Wright, Sr., Paris; *Garrett Larsen, Sr., Texas High; Blake Leonard, Sr., North Lamar; Taylor Carter, Sr., Greenville.
Catcher - Justin Miller, Jr., North Lamar.
Utility Player - *Trey Turner, Sr., Greenville.
Infielders - *Brad Payne, Sr., Mount Pleasant; *Payton Jones, Sr., Paris; *Casey McMahan, Sr., Sulphur Springs; *Blake Wells, Sr., Sulphur Springs; *Justin Coats, Sr., Texas High.
Outfielders - *Brad Espino, Sr., Greenville; *Sam Walker, So., Mount Pleasant; *Matt Marrone, Sr., Paris, *Jayden Spencer, Sr., Sulphur Springs.
Designated Hitter - Brad Rushing, Mount Pleasant.
Second Team All-District
Pitchers - Jake Broumley, Sr., Sulphur Springs; Matthew Gentry, Sr., Texas High; Robert Nixon, Sr., Mount Pleasant.
Catchers - Trey Sorrells, So., Greenville; Kameron Forte, Sr., Texas High.
Utility Player - Carsen Hargis, Sr., Paris.
Infielders - Webb Fields, Jr., Mount Pleasant; Clint Dolf, Sr., Paris; Tyler Rhoades, Jr., Sulphur Springs; Travis Potter, Jr., Greenville.
Outfielders - Brian Virgel, Jr., Greenville; Zach Ingram, Sr., North Lamar; Andrew Harrison, Sr., Paris; Jake North, Jr., Sulphur Springs.
Designated Hitter - Kyle Kinslow, Sr., North Lamar.
Honorable Mention All District (SSHS player only):
Catcher - Scott Stewart, Sr.
* Unanimous selection