Dusty Brittain could not have asked for anything more from his seniors.
In his first year with the team, Copperas Cove’s head coach knew he would need help from his veteran players to bridge the gap as he began instilling his philosophy.
Brittain knew the group of upperclassmen would be critical to the Bulldawgs’ success, and he was right, but he was not the only one to recognize their contributions.
Led by Ryan Dorroh, five Copperas Cove seniors landed on the recently released 8-5A All-District list, and Brittain firmly believes each deserves the honor.
“Every one of those seniors that is on there is the type of guy that will stay late, come early and take the extra cuts when they need to,” he said. “They’ve been leading this program for a long time, and their hard work has paid off this season, especially in district.”
Dorroh, an outfielder, landed on the second team, while classmates Bryce Delano, Charlie Folger, Kyle Winstead and Jayson Cole each received an honorable mention. After ending the season with a .347 batting average to go along with 17 hits, 11 runs scored and eight RBIs, Dorroh was a clear-cut selection, Brittain believes.
“I think his numbers speak for themselves,” Brittain said. “He got on base a lot and he hit the ball a lot, especially in district play, so having his bat leave us next year is going to hurt. We’re going to have some big shoes to fill.”
Two who could potentially assume a portion of the load left behind by Dorroh were placed alongside him on the second team.
Tim Bechtold and Michael Hays were the Bulldawgs’ only other all-district selections after the pair of sophomores ranked among the top five on the team in hits, singles, RBIs, runs scored and batting average.
“They are our No. 1 and No. 3 hole hitters, and they came through with some big hits in big games,” Brittain said. “Those are things that coaches remember.”
For outfielder Bechtold, who posted team-highs with 29 hits, 26 runs and eight doubles, it is his second consecutive appearance on the second team after delivering a standout freshman campaign, while third baseman Hays is a first-time selection. Hays finished the season with 19 hits, 19 runs and a team-high tying two home runs.
After the pair of underclassmen helped the Bulldawgs produce a 13-11-1 overall record, including a 6-8 showing in district, following a five-win season in 2013, Brittain believes the best is yet to come.
“For a sophomore to make second team, I think that is a pretty good accomplishment,” he said.
“I think those guys understand that making all-district isn’t everything, but at the same time, they know if they go out, compete, win and do their job that it is nice to get that kind of recognition. I think if we go out and do what we need to do next year, I don’t see any reason why those guys shouldn’t be jumping up to the first team.”