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FIRST TEAM

Jake Outlaw, Dadeville

“Jake was very versatile for us,” Tiger coach Curtis Martin said. “He was a great fielder and a great hitter and he even pitched for us. He was pretty much the total package when it came down to our team, especially at the end whenever he caught fire. He was just awesome for us.” As a shortstop, Outlaw was extremely reliable during his senior season and he finished with a staggering .495 batting average. He racked up 14 doubles, four triples and three home runs. Although he mostly served as a reliever, his only start during the regular season was a complete-game one-hitter. 

Grant Taylor, Horseshoe Bend

Taylor was one of the most well-rounded players for the Generals. A senior, Taylor was rewarded for his hard work by being named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 2A second team. “He was one of our best hitters and probably our best pitcher numbers-wise, plus he caught for us,” HBS coach Jason Johnson said. “He impacted every side of the ball and he’s going to be a big player for us. He’s started since he was in the eighth grade.” Taylor led HBS with a .466 batting average plus he was tops in doubles (11), triples (4), homes runs (1) and RBIs (19). On the mound, he had an ERA of just 3.50 with 55 strikeouts in 46 innings. 

Huell Lumpkin, Benjamin Russell

After having surgery before his sophomore year, Lumpkin seemed to struggle to get back into the swing of things. But that changed during his senior year when Lumpkin really broke out of his shell. “Huell decided he wanted to be a player and he put the work in,” BRHS coach Richy Brooks said. “He’s not one I had to make do stuff. He did a lot of extra work when everybody else was gone. I was really proud for him.” Lumpkin was second on the team with a batting average of .385, and on the mound, he finished with an ERA of 1.482, racking up 38 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings.

Logan Hunt, Reeltown

As a junior, Hunt was one of the top pitchers and hitters for the Rebels and he also played arguably the most important defensive position at short stop. Although he finished with a 3-5 record with one save, Hunt had just a 2.49 ERA on the season. He averaged nearly two strikeouts per inning as he racked up 81 in just 45 innings of work. “Logan brought a lot of leadership to our team,” Reeltown coach Trey Chambers said. “He brought a lot of talent too and was a big part of our team. We’re happy to have him back for one more year and hopefully he can continue to get better.”

Wilson Hays, Benjamin Russell

“Well, if Wilson Hays were 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, everybody in the country would have wanted to sign him,” Benjamin Russell coach Richy Brooks said. “I’ve seen a lot of good catchers through my 30 years, and he’s one of the best. As far as defensively, Wilson’s as good as anybody we have. He can receive it and block it and he loves to catch. He’s just a scrapper.” At catcher, Hays caught 15 stealing this year, and at the plate, he was one of the best on the team with a batting average of .317. Hays will play college ball at Huntingdon College.

Chandler Lewis, Horseshoe Bend

As a senior, Lewis batted leadoff for the Generals this season and was a constant on-base threat. He finished with a .333 batting average and racked up 21 hits and 11 RBIs. He also led the Generals with 15 runs scored. On the infield, Lewis had only five errors for a fielding percentage of .942. “He was a sparkplug as our leadoff guy,” Horseshoe Bend coach Jason Johnson said. “He was always getting on base and getting things going. Plus, he could lay a ton of positions. He’s another that’s going to be hard to replace.”

Slade McCullers, Dadeville

A true power hitter, nearly half McCullers’ hits went for extra bases. He had 14 doubles, two triples and a home run and only 18 singles. McCullers also walked 23 times for an on-base percentage of .558. As a catcher, he was as reliable behind the plate as he was batting at it. McCullers is one of just two seniors who graduated for Dadeville but he will be tough to replace. “He was definitely a guy that I expected to get on base every time,” Tiger coach Curtis Martin said. “His on-base percentage was through the room, and he was very valuable to our offense.”

Cade Brooks, Benjamin Russell

Brooks emerged as one of the top pitchers for Benjamin Russell this season. After a slow start both offensively and on the mound, Brooks really grew into his own. He had a 2.692 ERA with a 6-2 record to go along with 59 strikeouts. At the plate, Brooks batted just .270 but racked up 22 RBIs and scored 16 runs of his own. “He started out slow but really from spring break on, he really pitched well and hit well from that point on,” Wildcat coach Richy Brooks said. “He had to overcome a lot statistically digging himself in a hole but I thought he did well down the stretch for us. Hopefully that’ll springboard him into a good next year.”

Tripp McKinley, Dadeville

The youngest person on this list, McKinley had a breakout season during his sophomore year. McKinley was one of the toughest pitchers for Dadeville with multiple pitches going for strikes. “I love his spunkiness and I really think he grew the most,” Dadeville coach Curtis Martin said. “As far as pitching and hitting, he grew tremendously but more importantly what grew was his leadership. The sky is the limit for him.” Martin said McKinley clocked at 83 mph this season and he expects that to get only higher. At the plate, McKinley also had a .356 batting average and racked up 26 hits this season.

Brock Elliott, Benjamin Russell

Although he’s been known for his pitching in the past, Elliott developed into a more well-rounded player this year. Elliott finished with a .287 batting average and was one of the best on the team with 19 RBIs. He had four doubles and two home runs. “He just played himself into the lineup and never let me take him out,” BRHS coach Richy Brooks said. “He did a good job hitting and he was a good player for us.” Elliott was also still pretty solid on the mound. He had a batting average of 3.333 and did really well throwing batters off; he racked up 64 strikeouts in 42 innings.

HONORABLE MENTION

Benjamin Russell: Joe Young, Nick McGhee, Ryan Slaten; Dadeville: Cooper Childers, Alex Walker; Horseshoe Bend: Lee Norrell, Holt Tidwell; Reeltown: Colby Clark, Kolby Coan; Central Coosa: TD Parker, Ryan Payne

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.