By Lori Cathey
Members of the Gibson County High School and middle school baseball teams were recognized at an annual awards banquet on Thursday, June 7 at GCHS.
Middle school head baseball coach Phillip Hill began the awards segment of the banquet by highlighting a few of the 2018 season accomplishments. The team had 25 members this year and finished runner-up in the Northwest Tennessee Conference Tournament with a season record of 13-5. Pioneers Connor Hill, Avery Criswell and Jaxon Hays were named to the Northwest Tennessee Conference All-Tournament Team.
The middle school Pioneers had eight eighth graders: Hayden Crandall, Avery Criswell, Carter Ewell, Isaac Goad, Jaxon Hays, Connor Hill, JC Phillips, and Drake Warren.
The awards presentation began with Hill calling each player’s name and asking them to come forward to be recognized for the season with a GCMS baseball hand towel and a medal for participation. Next, Hill read the names of the players who received awards as assistant coach Jared Mallard handed them out. They were as follows: Avery Criswell – Offensive Player, Collin Skelton – Most Improved, Cole Lannom – Rookie of the Year, Matthew Reynolds – Golden Glove Award, Carter Ewell – Pioneers Award, Jaxon Hays – Defensive Player, JC Phillips – Hustle Award, and Connor Hill – The Ace Award.
Next the GCHS baseball awards presentation began with head coach Neal Papich sharing a few statistics of the team’s 2018 season. The Pioneers finished with a 23-8 record, second place in 14-A District regular season and third place in the district tournament. Sam McKinney, Austin Atkins, Stephen Overstreet and Will Cantrell were named to the All-District Team, and Cameron McMackin, Dalton Flesher and Stephen Overstreet were selected for the All-Tournament Team. This year’s seniors were Brennan Lownsdale, Lane Flesher and Will Carson. Each senior received a personalized Louisville Slugger wooden bat engraved with their name from Centennial Bank of Rutherford.
Papich read the names of the baseball players who received awards as Coach Eric Patton handed them out. Award winners were Will Carson – Mr. Pioneer, Brennan Lownsdale – Mr. Pioneer, Adam Smithson – Most Improved, Will Cantrell – Mr. Clutch and Ricky Henderson Award, Sam McKinney – Pitcher of the Year, Cameron McMackin – Play of the Year, Lane Flesher – Most Versatile Player, Stephen Overstreet – Slugger Award, Colin Warren – Golden Glove Award, and Austin Atkins – MVP.