Blayne McGhee snapped the stereotype.
Many voters take the easy way out when it comes to determining the most valuable player. Whether at the professional, collegiate or high school level, the award typically goes to the best player on the best team.
When it came to choosing the 17-4A All-District MVP, however, the record was inconsequential.
McGhee, a senior catcher for Gatesville, earned the accolade for the second time in her high school career after helping the Hornets place third in the standings — five games behind district-unbeaten and state-ranked Robinson.
For Gatesville head coach Chris Sommerfeld, the acknowledgement means a lot.
“I’m really glad the other coaches recognize the talent and the ability Blayne has,” he said. “That is the best player in the district even though she wasn’t on the best team. There were other good options as well, but what she did for us in big games won her the award.”
In addition to her defensive abilities, McGhee led the Hornets in every major offensive statistical category, posting team highs in hits (50), doubles (13), home runs (10), RBIs (35), runs scored (32), stolen bases (9) and batting average (.556).
Last season, McGhee was named the co-offensive player of the year after earning MVP honors as a sophomore.
While McGhee was Gatesville’s lone player to win a superlative, she was joined on the list by six teammates, who landed on either the all-district first or second team.
First baseman Maddi Sims, shortstop Kenzie Winkler and right fielder Amiah Lamar were each placed on the first team after helping the Hornets (14-18, 5-5) reach the playoffs for a third consecutive season.
Sims and Winkler finished the season with 33 hits apiece and both produced a batting average of at least .355, while Lamar was the only freshman in the district to be placed on the first team. She had 19 hits and scored 14 runs.
“Lamar missed the last three games of district with a broken finger,” Sommerfeld said, “so she must have really made an impression on those coaches.”
Rounding out the Hornets’ selections were pitcher/outfielder Evan Edmiston, centerfielder Shelby McMichael and third baseman Marleigh Mayhew, who each were put on the second team.
“Those girls have meant a great deal to this program,” Sommerfeld said of the trio.
Gatesville had three honorable mentions in Kayylie Wright, Ashley Green and Chesney Smith, meaning all of the Hornets’ regular starters were recognized.
While Sommerfeld is excited to have his standout catcher voted MVP, he is equally proud of the fact almost his entire roster was acknowledged.
“That shows these girls put in a lot of hard work,” Sommerfeld said. “Overall, I feel all these selections are a great representation of our team, and I’m glad it showed up in the all-district teams.”