By Kevin Posival
Harker Heights Herald
Baseball coaches in District 12-5A are obviously sad to see their seniors go. But another junior class, one of immense talent, is waiting in the wings to take over.
Headlined by co-newcomers of the year Belton freshman Jared Janzcak and Ellison sophomore Tyler Bark, 13 juniors were among the 21 selections on the District 12-5A all-district first team released Monday.
"I think (the district) will be real competitive because there's going to be a lot of experience coming back and lot of real high expectations for a lot of teams in our district," Ellison coach Kyle Allred said.
Janzcak was simply pulled up to replace Belton senior Tyler Vail after early season injuries plagued the Tigers' ace/outfielder.
"Anytime you have a freshman that can help you, that's huge," Belton coach Eddie Cornblum said. "That gives you four years to work with the kid, hands-on. That's kind of a neat situation. ... He really did a lot of good things for us, especially in the playoffs."
In addition to Janzcak, second-place Belton returns three first-team juniors - pitcher Blayten Magana, first baseman Ryan King and second baseman Max Hogan.
"Obviously, you want the competition in your district," Cornblum said. "You want that because it's going to prepare you for the playoffs. I like it that way. That makes it exciting. That makes every game you play important and that's what makes high school baseball fun."
Harker Heights returns first-team junior outfielder J.T. Gilmore, but graduates first-team pitcher Jacob Spivey. Copperas Cove returns first-team juniors in third baseman Ty Johnson and outfielder Austin Greene, while Ellison junior Felix Marbury joined Bark on the first team for the Eagles.
12-5A all-district baseball
MVP - Andrew Brown, A&M Consolidated, Sr.
Newcomer of the Year - Tyler Bark, Ellison, So.; Jared Janczak, Belton, Fr.
Pitchers - Jacob Spivey, Harker Heights, Sr.; Ty Culbreth, Bryan, Jr.; Blayten Magana, Belton, Jr.; Marshall Whorley, Temple, Sr.; Seth Holbert, A&M Consolidated, Jr.; Ford Moore, A&M Consolidated, Jr.
Catcher - Jonathan Schmitz, A&M Consolidated, Sr.
First base - Ryan King, Belton, Jr.
Second base - Max Hogan, Belton, Jr.
Third base - Ty Johnson, Copperas Cove, Jr.
Shortstop - Casey Skalaban, Bryan, Jr.
Outfield - Scott James, A&M Consolidated, Sr.; Josh Schulman, A&M Consolidated, Sr.; Austin Greene, Copperas Cove, Jr.; J.T. Gilmore, Harker Heights, Jr.; Felix Marbury, Ellison, Jr.
Utility - Colby Turton, A&M Consolidated, Jr.
DH - Riley Ferrell, A&M Consolidated, Jr.
Pitchers - Bryce Davis, Harker Heights, Sr.; Travis Gibson, Bryan, Jr.; Shane Ward, Belton, Jr.; Dillon Mangham, Temple, Sr.; Taylor Wright, Ellison, Sr.
Catcher - Colbi Fuentes, Belton, Sr.
First base - Irvin Santamaria, Harker Heights, Sr.; Michael Miner, Bryan, Jr.
Second base - Emery Atkisson, Harker Heights, Jr.; Matt Reed, Shoemaker, Sr.
Third base - Brooks Mraz, Belton, Sr.
Shortstop - Alec Paradowski, A&M Consolidated, Jr.
Outfield - Tyler Overrocker, Copperas Cove, Sr.; Stephan Flores, Harker Heights, Jr.; Travis Grygar, Bryan, Sr.; Reyes Jimenez, Belton, Sr.; Tanner Dodd, Temple, Sr.; Jose Hernandez, Ellison, Sr.
Utility - Warren Neely, Copperas Cove, Jr.; Colin Fry, Bryan, Jr.
Jarrett Pickens, Belton; Tyler Vail, Belton; Austin Bishoff, Belton; Israel Riley, Copperas Cove; Chris Burroughs, Copperas Cove; D.J. Fisher, Ellison; Justin Dingman, Ellison; Chase Randall, Ellison; Greg Greene, Ellison; Rodney Leasch, Harker Heights; Tyler Hammett, Shoemaker; John Gueits, Shoemaker, A.J. Gongora, Shoemaker.