But that didn’t mean there weren’t players to honor.
Athletics and academics go hand in hand at the high school level, and this year’s Johnson City Press/Times-News Super 19 team is a reflection of that statement.
The team is normally called the Super 22, but with the help of coaches, one player from each area team was selected as a standout — equally for his athletic prowess and academic accomplishments.
And because this year’s baseball season was going to be special with three major-college signees expected to make big impacts for their teams, the honorary player of the year award was split between three players: Daniel Boone’s Cade Elliott (Tennessee), Elizabethton’s Evan Carter (Duke), and Science Hill’s Caleb Marmo (Wake Forest).
Here is the Super 19 team with a comment on the players from each team’s head coach:
Caleb Marmo (Senior, OF)
“Caleb has been a leader for our team on the field as an all-state outfielder and in the classroom with a 3.7 GPA,” said Ryan Edwards. “We are excited to see him take both of these talents to Wake Forest.”
Derek Thurston (Senior, 1B)
“He got it done with grades and on the field,” said Ryan Wagner. “He batted .374 last year with seven homers and 34 RBIs, and his GPA is 4.28.”
Cade Elliott (Senior, P)
“Cade is a talented young man who has a bright athletic and academic future ahead of him at Tennessee,” said Scott Hagy.
Cade Larkins (Senior, OF)
“Cade was our best player in two sports and also our valedictorian,” said Spencer Street. “His contributions to our program, school, and community are unmatched.”
Rylan Greene (Senior, CF)
“A great team leader and all around good player, Rylan is an honor student who will be attending the University of Tennessee to become a neurologist,” said Michael Castle. “He is a great young man.”
Jesse Forgety (Senior, P)
“Jesse is a perfect example of what a student-athlete should be, excelling in the classroom and on the field,” said Todd Pait. “I always knew Jesse would be exactly where he was supposed to be, doing exactly what we needed him to do. He’s smart, dependable and dedicated.”
Lance Tudor (Senior, OF)
“One of the best outfielders in the league and very valuable on the mound with a unique submarine delivery,” said Preston Roberts. “He carries a 4.0 GPA and is an Eagle Scout. He is a coach’s dream, smart, hardworking and a great teammate. He was so mature and well-rounded it was like having another assistant coach.”
Brodie Frew (Senior, P)
“Brodie was a great senior leader, and he is No. 1 in his class academically,” said Anthony Richardson.
Perry Casaday (Senior, SS)
“Perry has always strived to be the best he can be, both in the classroom and on the field,” Mike Breuninger said. “His accolades on the field and his 4.16 GPA make him the ‘Perfect Patriot.’ ”
Jacob Fields (Senior, 1B)
“A member of the HOSA Club, Beta Club, National Honor Society and the FCA, Jacob also has a 3.8 GPA and was a four-year player for football, basketball and baseball,” Clay Colley said.
Evan Carter (Senior, OF)
“He has been the standard in the classroom, just as he is on the field,” Ryan Presnell said. “He puts his gifts to work, and it’s good for the other players to see.”
Jordan Bridges (Junior, CF)
“Jordan has been a two-year starter for us, and he carries a 3.9 GPA that is weighted at 4.06,” said Chad Gillis. “Jordan is a tremendous student-athlete who plays three sports and represents Unicoi County very well.”
Petie Pavusek (Senior, C)
“Along with his on-field success, Petie is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Technical Honor Society,” said Pete Pavusek. “He has a 3.7 GPA and is going to King University.”
Jacob Absher (Senior, SS)
“Jacob is an excellent athlete and a true demonstration of what it is to be a Warrior,” Todd Caldwell said. “He excels in the classroom and will be able to succeed in whatever he decides to pursue in life because of his work ethic and drive.”
Braydon Wilhoit (Senior, P)
“Braydon did a good job on the field and in the classroom for four years,” said Steve Dixon. “He was extremely dedicated, and didn’t miss anything baseball-related — whether it was during the season or offseason.”
Brant Hare (Senior, 1B)
“Brant has been a leader on the field and in the classroom these last four years,” Josh Petty said. “He has helped bring our program a lot of success and is an excellent example of a student-athlete with a score of 28 on his ACT and a GPA of 3.732. And he has signed to play college ball at Milligan.”
Dalton Rouse (Senior, P)
“An Alice Lloyd College signee, Dalton had a record of 8-3 with 110 strikeouts in 70-plus innings over the last three seasons,” Nick Perkins said. “He also has a 3.9 GPA. He has been our most important player since I have been head coach, and I appreciate the time he put in and am very proud of him.”
Austin Drew (Senior, utility)
“Austin played sports while working a job and taking college classes from Northeast State,” said Tee Blevins. “He is the definition of a hardworking student-athlete.”
Hunter Blair (Senior, C)
“Hunter was a three-sport athlete for the Highlanders and exemplifies a true student-athlete,” said Nathaniel Patterson. “His hard work on and off the field is why he is an easy pick for this. He will be attending college next year to study nursing.”