Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area Sports

May 27, 2014

Jet baseball team recognized for its on and off the field achievements

CROSSVILLE — The 21-15 CCHS baseball team was recognized for their outstanding season with a banquet Saturday night at Killeen's on the Green at Lake Tansi.

District Coach of the Year David Prichard opened the evening by thanking his wife, the school administration and his coaching staff for making this a successful season.

"I am fortunate to have three quality coaches — Lee Henry, Charlie Alva and Chris Higdon. They did a great job. Thank you for allowing me to coach your kids. They represent the school well and have a GPA of 3.3+. I had a great bunch of kids. One waitress at one restaurant told me they were the best team they had come in there," said Prichard.

Prichard explained his team's vision which was voted on by the players and his team's approach, which included BASE 2, quality at bats (QAB), after three pitches (A3) and runs scored.

"We do those things, winning will come," Prichard said.

The Jets' vision on the field was to "play confident and energetically as a team, have consistent focus, be aggressive, always complete, never quit, respect the game and be better today than yesterday."

Their focus off the field was to "set a standard of excellence in all we do, be a 'family,'  be a hard worker (blue collar), be the best we can be, always remember who we represent (creator, familiy and community) and have respect for all. Some wish for it, we work for it."

Every game the Jets scored three or more runs, they were 17-5, which means they were 4-10 when they were held to two runs or less. Eight players had double-digit RBIs (10 or more) and six had 15 or more. They batted .320 with runners in scoring position and had a team ERA of 3.12.

Prichard then recognized the varsity players — Matt Ledbetter, Reed Shaw, Grant Parrott, Ethan Cunningham, Morgan Richards, Nathaniel Wyatt, Ryan Burgess, Matt Vanlandingham, Kevin Uebelacker, Justin Shipe, John Hayes, Jacob Hayes, Mason Parrett, David Eillott, Drew Vaden, Hudson Wilson, Tyler Thompson, Noah Davis and Brenton Houston.

Junior varsity players recognized were Ryan Fehr, Kevin Dohs, Paul Thompson, Laytn Davis, Thomas O'Conner, Stephen Chesson and Tristan Wright.

Alva talked about the JV team.

"Our motto was 'to be perfect ' They did everything they had did to be perfect," said Alva.

Ryan Fehr and Thomas O'Connor won the teamates' award.

Kevin Uebelacker was the Most Versitile. Tyler Thompson won the Newcomer Award and Jon Hayes won the Pitching Award.

"They have to step up next year. We have two good players leaving," Alva added.

Pitcher/outfielder Morgan Richards won the A3P award. Richards pitched 50.1 innings with a 5-4 record, two saves, a 2.503 ERA,  53 Ks and 34 walks.

Pitcher/outfieldler Matt Ledbetter won the QAB award and the Defensive Player Award sponsored by This Old Glove.

He pitched 52.0 innings with a 6-1 record, two saves, a 1.615 ERA, 64 Ks and 27 walks and batted .402 with seven doubles, two triples, two home runs, 34 runs scored, 22 RBIs and 28 stolen bases. He had 52 putouts with eight assists for a .964 fielding percentage.

His 1.615 ERA was second to John Bilbrey's 1.54. His 28 single-season stolen bases and 71 career steals are both school records.

Infielder Nathaniel Wyatt was Most Improved Player. He batted .324 with six doubles, one home run, 27 RBIs and 15 stolen bases.

"He battled injuries the last two years. He stepped up in big spots this year and set the bar high for 2015," said Prichard.

Catcher/pitcher David Elliot was named the Rookie of the Year. He batted .231, six doubles, 20 RBIs and 13 stolen bases and posted a 2-4 record with one save, a 3.128 ERA, 25 strikeouts and 21 walks in 31.1 innings.

Receiving All-District honors were Grant Parrett, Ryan Burgess and Nathaniel Wyatt, while Matt Ledbetter was District Player of the Year.

Grant Parrett batted .330 with 12 doubles, one triple, one homer, 39 runs scored, 18 RBIs and six stolen bases, and was 2-4 with two saves, 36 walks, 37 strikeouts and a 3.048 ERA in 38.2 innings pitched. He recorded 57 putouts and 40 assists for a .866 fielding percentage.

Ryan Burgess batted .293 with 35 doubles, eight triples, 11 RBIs, 33 runs scored and 14 stolen bases and had .870 fielding percentage (44 putouts, 70 assists). He was two hits shy of tying the single season record for hits.

Matt Ledbetter and Reed Shaw received framed game jerseys.

Reed Shaw batted .245 with eight doubles, one homer, 23 RBIs, 13 runs scored and one stolen base and had a .949 fielding percentage (228 putouts and 15 assists).

I'm a huge believer in purpose. I'm here for a reason. God has a purpose for these two guys. I will miss them a lot," concluded Prichard.

The Jet baseball booster club presented Prichard with an autographed bat provided by This Old Glove to recognize the Prichard's being named District 6AAA Coach of the Year.

••••

Jet baseball Coach Dave Prichard wants to put up a sign at Jet Park listing all of the former Jets who were either All-District, All-Region, etc., over the years. If you were selected to one of those, send your name, year and honor to him at prich01@yahoo.com.

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