All-Leader 2016 Baseball Team
Published 3:18 pm Monday, June 20, 2016
There is no question about it, the 2016 high school baseball campaign will go down as one of the most entertaining ones in a long, long time.
The District 24-4A season definitely took the players, coaches, parents and fans on an amazing ride, including deep runs in the playoffs.
When all the dust settled, we had three playoff teams in the Bridge City Cardinals, West Orange-Stark Mustangs and Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears. Each of them making deep runs.
Long-time Bridge City coach Chad Landry said that District 24-4A was arguably the best 4A district in the state and he wasn’t kidding.
Of course, Landry’s Cardinals were once again in the mix, sharing the 24-4A title with a young Silsbee team as both teams went 9-3. It marked at least a share of the district title for the 25th time in the Cardinals’ storied history.
The Cardinals zipped all the way to the Region III semifinals before falling to State Semifinalist Waco Robinson.
The Mustangs, fresh off a great 2015 run which saw them advance all the way to the Class 4A State Championship Game, captured third-place and advanced to the third round. The Mustangs were young but Coach Shea Landry and staff got all they could out of them and then some. With most of the team intact, 2017 could produce a run even deeper.
Then there were those Bears.
Long-time coach Steve Griffith has seen it all through a glorious 23-year run that has produced more than 500 wins.
The Bears made their sixth appearance in a Regional Final in Coach Griff’s great run. However, the way they did it this year will go down in lore.
The Bears, with a senior-laden squad, found themselves sitting 3-6 in 24-4A play with just six games left. So, what do they do? Win their next three games to tie Hardin-Jefferson for fourth. The Bears then defeat the Hawks to ear the fourth-place playoff berth.
LC-M then marched on all the way to the Regional Final where the Bears fell to Robinson. However, along the way the Bears took down four opponents in the playoffs including three district champions in Huffman, Silsbee and Jasper.
So how tough was 24-4A top to bottom?
Hamshire-Fannett, which finished at the bottom of the standings, finished its season with a road win at co-champion Bridge City.
A young Orangefield Bobcat team that finished sixth, battled hard all year and had a big road win at WO-S and a win over co-champion Silsbee.
There were no weak links at all in that league, right Coach Chad Landry!
Would also love to thank my partner in crime Ronnie Hughes for all his help on coverage this year, not only with his insight but his photos as well.
We’re both curious to see what the 2017 campaign will bring us.
It’s that time to pick the All-Leader Team and once again, so many outstanding young men were deserving.
Our Most Valuable Player honor goes out to Bridge City senior pitcher Tod McDowell, who got it done on the mound and at the plate.
McDowell, who signed to play college ball at Lamar University, was 8-3 on the hill with a 2.04 earned run average. He allowed just 41 hits in 65 innings of work with 82 strikeouts. He also hit .342 with a pair of home runs and 21 runs batted in.
Congrats to all!
Here is the 2016 All-Orange Leader Baseball Team as selected by the Leader sports staff:
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Tod McDowell, Bridge City
OFFENSIVE MVP: Mitchell Lee, LC-M
DEFENSIVE MVP: Bradley Thibodaux, Bridge City
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Slade Green, LC-M
COACH OF THE YEAR: Chad Landry, Bridge City
Jack Dallas, WO-S
Kyle Bergeron, Bridge City
Payton Robertson, WO-S
Drake Trawhon, LC-M
Tanner Doiron, Bridge City
KJ Miller, WO-S
Dylan Anthony, Orangefield
Ryan Ragsdale, WO-S
Peyton Choate, LC-M
Johnny Armstrong, Orangefield
Grant White, LC-M
BB Tezeno, WO-S
Brett Fregia, Orangefield
Vinny Hale, LC-M
Schuyler Thibodaux, Bridge City
Chad Dallas, WO-S
Michael Lee, LC-M
Kevin Gordon, Bridge City