Recently, Shadrick capped off his high school career by being named all-district most valuable player, and he believes the attention is long overdue – but not for himself.
“There are games that I will pitch really well in,” Shadrick said, “and I’ll only strike out two or three guys. That means the fielders are making 18 or 19 plays, but, after the game, I’ll be getting all the recognition, when they are the ones who made all the plays.
“So, it is really nice for me to see my teammates get the recognition they deserve.”
While Shadrick was determined by the district’s coaches to be the premier player from the eight-team field, plenty of Belton standouts were honored, including Josh Westbrook. The junior third baseman was named co-defensive player of the year along with Harker Heights senior Jacob Bermea.
Along with the pair of superlatives, the Tigers, who delivered a 13-1 record in district, occupied five first-team spots with a player represented in every category – pitchers, catchers, infielders, outfielders and designated hitter – except utility.
Belton senior Jason Bonnett was one of four pitchers to make the first team, while senior teammate Cooper Babcock was the lone catcher on the list. T.J. Johnson, a junior, landed on the squad as an outfielder, junior Jacob Estrada was the sole designated hitter, and senior Scott Gurnett was the infield’s second baseman.
“I thought I started off district playing pretty good,” Gurnett said, “but I had a bit of a rough ride in the middle of the season before getting going toward the end.
“Overall, I thought things went pretty well for me.”
Additionally, a trio of Tigers – first baseman Caleb Alexander, outfielder Keegan Wolfe and shortstop Ben Jones – concluded their careers with the Tigers by being placed on the second team.
Knights junior Easton Culp was named offensive player of the year, Temple senior Aaron Wagawan was named pitcher of the year, and Killeen freshman Cade Searcy was named newcomer of the year.
Copperas Cove and Temple each produced three first-team selections with pitcher Dekan Radigan, shortstop Travis Sanders and utility player Russel Cochran making the list for the Bulldawgs, and pitcher Bryan Williams, first baseman Isiah Fach and outfielder Johnny Donoso earning spots for the Wildcats.
Ellison teammates Joseph Marin (third base) and Julian Vascot (outfield), Harker Heights pitcher Austin Mitchell and Shoemaker outfielder James Bowyer rounded out the first team.
By Clay Whittington – Journal Reporter