By Brandon C. Williams
FOR THE second straight season, Santa Fe laid claim to home of the most valuable baseball player in district 23-5a as pitcher/outfielder Drew Shaver received this year’s honor after helping lead the Indians to an 18-8-2 campaign and a trip to the region III area round.
Shaver, a senior, went 4-2 with an ERA of 2.28 and completed three of his starts, striking out 67 batters while not allowing a home run in his 43 innings of work. At the plate, Shaver hit .408 with a pair of homers and 15 RBI to go along with 24 runs scored and two stolen bases. His former Indians teammate, Jake Blankenship, earned co-district MVP honors last season, sharing the award with Fort Bend Marshall’s Robert Bullard.
Santa Fe catcher Josh Blankenship, who was named the 23-5a newcomer of the year in 2016, added another honor to the family trophy case by sharing the co-offensive player of the year award with Texas City’s Drake Jackson. Blankenship hit .432 and drove in 35 runs and added a pair of homers and 28 runs scored. The Indians also had the district’s top newcomer for a second consecutive season as second baseman Tyler Parker, who hit .376, shared the honor with Myles Simmons of Manvel.
Following a campaign that saw his team win the 23-5a regular season title and advance to the regional quarterfinals, Galveston Ball’s Russell Ferrell was named the district’s coach of the year.
Ball pitching ace Dylan Whitehurst was named to the first team, while Tors catchers Lalo Gutierrez and Austin Lawrence, shortstop Noah Trevino, outfielder Kyle Wheeler and pitcher Thaddeus Wilcox were selected to the second team.
Santa Fe was represented on the first team by pitcher Tucker Mica, third baseman Bryce Montemayor, outfielder Wade Perkins and designated hitter Colton Scott. For Texas City, catcher Nicco Copado and pitcher Christian Moya were named to the first team. The Stingarees also had third baseman Michael Herrera and Judson Schaper selected to the second team.