Earlier in the week, Kyle Randall noticed he was trailing. That’s when he turned his campaign over to mom.
Randall’s mother took to Facebook and texting, spreading the word to family from all over — including her husbands’ 12 siblings — to cast their votes for the Harker Heights senior ace in the weekly KDHpressbox.com Player of the Week balloting.
And in just two days, Randall made up the more than 200 votes he trailed by and easily won the KDHpressbox.com Player of the Week award for the week of March 17-23.
“I have an extremely large family and word just got out to family, friends and friends of friends and it just spread like wildfire,” Randal said.
After limiting rival Shoemaker to just one hit, striking out eight and contributing an RBI in a 4-0 victory n March 19, the wins kept coming for Randall, who received 1,556 of the 3,709 total votes for 42 percent of the ballots cast in one of the most highly contested Player of the Week votes in recent memory.
Randall’s vote total is by far the most for an individual this calendar year while the combined total was several thousand votes ahead of its closest week this year.
Florence junior infielder Peyton Person was only 216 votes behind Randall, pulling in 1,340 votes (36 percent) for the second-highest individual total this year while third-place vote-getter, Salado freshman softballer Malory Schattle, pulled in 806 votes (21.8 percent), which would have likely won it for her in recent weeks.
Randall’s the second Knights baseball player to win the award in the last month, joining sophomore Michael Rae Zapata who won for the week of Feb. 27-March 2 with 1,048 votes.
“It shows people that we have a lot of talent in Harker Heights, and we have a big community that likes to back us up and come out and watch us play,” Randall said. “They really support us at every game.”
The victory over Shoemaker not only secured a pivotal District 8-5A win but also earned the Knights bragging rights for the Wolf Pack Classic championship that was “split” between Heights and Shoemaker two weeks prior.
Person combined to hit 5 for 10 at the plate with three RBIs and six runs scored as the Buffaloes defeated Jarrell, Lexington and Rosebud-Lott.
Schattle went 5 for 7 at the plate with six runs scored and three RBIs as the No. 17 Lady Eagles defeated Cameron Yoe, Jarrell and Little River-Academy last week.
The fourth-place finisher, Temple ace Lexi Smith, threw a five-inning perfect game against Harker Heights, striking out 11, and then followed with a complete-game, 12-strikeout performance in a 3-1 win over Copperas Cove.