PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Why chosen: The major league prospect went 10-2 with a 1.28 ERA, 124 strikeouts and 19 walks in 711⁄3 innings. He hit .383 with 42 RBIs. The lefthander led the Wildcats to their first Class AAA tournament since 2005.
College: Committed with Vanderbilt.
Quote: “(My brother Jordan, a Vanderbilt signee) has been a big influence on me. I’ve watched him make his way through (his) baseball career and have many accomplishments. I want to achieve those same accomplishments, and also achieve things better than he’s made. We feed off each other’s competitiveness.”
Family: Father, Travis and mother, Misty. Brothers, Jordan, 18 and Jaxon, 8. Pets: python snake, Nagini; cat, Vicky, dog, mix Labrador retriever/pit bull, Rocky.
What’s on your iPod? “Mostly hip hop. I like Drake, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne.”
Best high school sports moment: “Probably beating Cookeville, and making it to the state. That’s been the first time we’ve done that since 2005. With this group of kids we’ve all played with, we’ve never been to state or experienced this, so it was great.”
Favorite athlete: Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price.
Favorite food: Enchiladas.
Least favorite part of practice: “Probably setting up for (batting practice.) That’s probably the worst thing ever just because you’ve got to move everything around, and take it off when you finish. My job is to get the mat and help with Big Bubba, which is the big, huge screen that sits behind the plate.”
On Twitter: @Topsheff42
Athletic background: “Coming up when I was younger, I played basketball and football also. Then I dropped off basketball after eighth-grade year, and then I played freshman football and then I dropped that off and started focusing more on baseball.”
Summer plans: “First, I’m going to Oklahoma (for a tournament), and then I’m going to Minneapolis for Perfect Game National (Showcase). And then after that I’m going to go try out for the USA 18 and under team.”
C, Brentwood Acad., Sr.
Why chosen: The Alabama signee hit .460 with 26 RBIs and eight homers for the DII-AA East/Middle champions.
INF, MBA, Sr.
Why chosen: The Vanderbilt signee hit .318 with 30 RBIs and a .426 on-base percentage for the DII-AA runnerup.
INF, Brentwood, Sr.
Why chosen: The Vanderbilt signee hit .376 with 42 RBIs and eight homers, helping Brentwood make its first state tournament since 1998.
INF, Goodpasture, Sr.
Why chosen: The junior college prospect hit .439 with 11 homers, 65 RBIs and 15 doubles for the Class AA runnerup.
INF, Riverdale, Sr.
Why chosen: The Memphis signee hit .331 with 11 homers and 33 RBI, helping lead the Warriors to the Class AAA tournament.
OF, Friendship, Jr.
Why chosen: The small college prospect hit .426 with 49 RBIs for the Class A champions.
OF, Goodpasture, Jr.
Why chosen: The Division I prospect hit .431 with a .538 on-base percentage and 20 stolen bases.
OF, Cookeville, Sr.
Why chosen: The Memphis signee
hit .487 with 24 RBIs and 50 stolen bases.
UTIL, Columbia, Sr.
Why chosen: The Vanderbilt signee hit .360 with 20 RBIs and went 7-2 with a 0.70 ERA.
P: Matt Hissong, FRA, Sr.
C: Austin Reynolds, Blackman, Jr.
INF: Tyler Bozeman, Centennial, Sr.
INF: Dale Burdick, Summit, Jr.
INF: Kyle Hubbuch, Wilson Central, Jr.
INF: Jake Usher, Spring Hill, Sr.
OF: Venn Biter, Rossview, Sr.
OF: Kyle Grace, Mt. Juliet, Sr.
OF: Brad Jarreau, PJP II, Sr.
UTIL: Brandon Jean, CPA, Sr.
RECENT PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
2012: Jonathan King, Riverdale
2011: Brian Miller, Independence
2010: Robert Hansen, Beech
2009: Jordan Cooper, Shelbyville
2008: Corban Joseph, Franklin
COACH OF THE YEAR
Why chosen: McNeal led Friendship (33-6) to its second state championship and first since 2007. After a 0-4 start at the Gulf Shores Classic, the Commanders won 33 of their last 35 games. Friendship boasted a 1.61 team ERA, including 14 shutouts. McNeal is 571-183 in 21 seasons at Friendship.
Quote: “Nine seniors make a lot of leadership and a lot of experience. That’s unusual that nine contributed all year. Pitching — this might have been as deep a staff as I’ve had. Poor Austin Godwin finished 8-0 on the season and didn’t even pitch in the state tournament. Stefan Remus was a surprise. Last year he might have pitched, five, six innings and this year he was one of our top guys.”