A good pitching staff can take a team a long way. A good catcher doesn’t hurt either.
Those were a few of the reasons the Hudson Hornets posted another strong year that ended after an extended playoff run.
Some of the players that were in the middle of that formula were rewarded for that success upon the recent release of the 20-4A All-District Team.
Hudson sophomore Hank Warren was honored as the Newcomer of the Year, while senior pitcher Reed Smith was a first-team selection.
Their success was aided by the stellar play of junior Ben Penn, who was named the Defensive Player of the Year.
In his first year on the Hudson varsity, Warren earned his honor by posting a 9-3 record to go along with a 1.41 ERA. In 741/3 innings, he struck out 82 and walked 25.
Smith earned his honor in his last season in Hudson by posting a 6-3 record with a 2.30 ERA. He struck out 64 and walked 27 in 61 innings.
He was also Hudson’s top hitter with a .349 batting average and a team-leading 45 RBIs.
Smith also added two homers, four doubles and three triples.
Penn was a consistent force behind the dish for the Hornets as he posted a .975 fielding percentage with only three passed balls. In addition to those numbers, he threw out 14 of 23 runners attempting to steal.
Hudson’s honors didn’t stop there as Aaron Dickerson, Mason McDonald and Collin Ross were each named to the second-team all-district squad.
Dickerson finished his junior season with a .305 batting average with 17 RBIs. He also drew 16 walks and was hit by 13 pitches, leading to a .468 on-base percentage.
McDonald finished the season with a .343 average with eight RBIs.
He also walked four times in putting up a .464 on-base percentage.
Ross earned his honor after a freshman season in which he had a .333 batting average with nine RBIs.
Huntington, which finished its season with a memorable upset of district champion Carthage, also had a pair of second-team selections.
Hayden Flynt, one of Huntington’s best all-around players as a senior, led the way for the Red Devils. In addition, Huntington’s Andrew Faulk picked up his honor as a junior.
Hudson’s Cayden Innerarity and Collin Pitts were both honorable-mention selections.
Innerarity had a .339 batting average with a homer and 23 RBIs, while Pitts had a .265 average with 19 RBIs.
Huntington’s honorable-mention selections were Judah Gallups, Carson Hopper, Gray Graham and Tyler Harris.
Carthage took the other superlative honors with Dylan Leach earning MVP, Gunner Capps being named Offensive Player of the Year and John Goodwin earning Coach of the Year.
Other first-team selections were Center’s Zach Smith and Jake Hanson, Jasper’s Colton Womack and Trent Bryant and Carthage’s Seth Smith, Mackenson Bobo, Brandon McNeely and Mason Bobo.
Other second-team picks were Carthage’s Baylor Colle and Tucker Smith, Center’s Jayden Hicks and Jasper’s Dodge Foshee.
Other honorable-mention picks were Center’s Juan Gonzalez, Colton Crawford and Tyler Herndon, Jasper’s Barret Neal, Chase Webb and Drew Marshall and Carthage’s Si Schumacher, Noah Anderson, Nathan Bailey and Sawyer Smith.
Off the field, Hudson’s Colton Castilaw was a THSCA Academic All-State first-team selection. Smith was an honorable-mention pick on the same team.
Academic all-district selections went to Huntington’s Hayden Flynt, Tyler Harris, Carson Hopper, Austin Harris, Kaden Reep, Cody Cox, Dylan Murphy and Gray Graham, Hudson’s Chase Arriola, Colton Castilaw, Aaron Dickerson, Ashton Grissom, Ben Penn and Collin Ross, Jasper’s Trent Bryant, Jayce Morgan, Barret Neal, Chase Webb, Colton Womack, Drew Marshall and Garrett Pugh, Center’s Zach Smith, Tyler Herndon, Josh Clifton, Aidan Hagler and Jase Bird and Carthage’s Nathan Bailey and Noah Anderson.