Town Crier Sports Staff
The Monette Bulldogs' 11-12 year old baseball team wrapped up a banner season, sweeping their way through the league tournament the weekend of June 23-24.
After going undefeated in conference play with a perfect 8-0 mark, Head Coach David Clark's Bulldogs finished the season with an impressive 34-5 record, which included a tournament title earlier in the year at Marked Tree.
"It has been a joy coaching this bunch of kids," said Clark. "I am so glad they have had such a good season. They are an excellent bunch of kids to coach and they have a done a great job over the course of the year. They really came together and did what it took to win and I am so very proud of them."
The Bulldogs boasted a talented group of players whose forte was their defensive abilities."This was as good a defensive team as I have ever coached," said Clark. "They made very few mistakes."
Monette placed seven of their nine starters on the District All-Star team, led by Josh McCormick, who pounded out five home runs during the year while patrolling centerfield for the Bulldogs. "Josh was by far the best centerfielder in the league," said Clark. "He is also the fastest player in the league and hit over .500 during the season."
McCormick had plenty of help as the Bulldogs rolled to the league championship. "Blake Jamison was probably our best all-around player," said Clark. "He played outfield, first base, shortstop and was one of our top pitchers. He can do it all. He also hit five or six home runs out of the park."
Justin Barnes, who joined McCormick and Jamison on the All-Star team, played left field and also was one of the Bulldog's top pitchers. "Justin is just a good kid. He is a good all around player and is very strong defensively," Clark said.
Another Bulldog who made the All-Star team was third baseman David Evans. Evans played excellent defense at the hot corner and provided timely hitting throughout the season. "David was a very important part of our success," said Clark.
Catcher Austin Vaugh batted over .400 while garnering an All-Star nod. Vaughn provided the game winning inside the park home run in the tournament championship game. "Austin is such a tough kid," said Clark. "He is a very good batter and has a very strong throwing arm. Very few people stole a base on him during the season."
First baseman-pitcher Blake Carr slammed a home run in the tournament championship game. Carr, a big, strong player, also made the All-Star team and provided the Bulldogs with power at the plate. "Blake pitched for us and was our first baseman. He did a good job at both positions," said Clark.
Logan Dewitt held the infield together from his shortstop position and also proved to be one of the better pitchers in the league. "Logan was also an All-Star. He was very good defensively at shortstop, has a strong arm, and was very important on the mound for us all year. Logan is one of our best hitters as well," said Clark.
One of the most reliable players on the team was outfielder Shawn Hembrey. "Shawn was the type kid that gave 110 percent on every play. You can always count on him," said Clark.
Zac Brown played second base for the Bulldogs and batted close to .400 on the season. "Zac can really play second base. Very few balls got by him this year. He and Logan Dewitt provided a very good double play combo for us," said Clark.
Rounding out the Bulldog squad is outfielder Cody Church. Church came up with one of the biggest hits of the season in the semi-finals of the league tournament against Broookland. With the Bulldogs behind, Church came up with a crucial hit to give Monette a come-from-behind win and propel the Bulldogs to the championship game. "That was a big hit for us," said Clark.
"It has been so much fun coaching this team. All the credit goes to the kids and to our other two coaches, Terry Carr and Bradley Church. It has been a great year and I am very proud of the whole team."