Tate Harvey feels slightly slighted.
Despite being a sophomore, Salado’s right fielder put together a dazzling debut. In his first full season with the Eagles, Harvey delivered 38 hits, including 10 for extra bases, 32 RBIs and 18 runs scored while posting a .447 batting average.
His efforts recently earned him the title of 19-4A All-District Newcomer of the Year, but Harvey admittedly hoped for more.
“It feels really good,” he said, “but honestly, I had the highest batting average in the district, so I was kind of expecting to be named offensive MVP.
“Still, newcomer of the year is a great award to have, and I’m humbled to receive it.”
Salado head coach Kreece Cooper agrees with Harvey’s assessment.
“Honestly,” Cooper said, “he could have won the offensive MVP outright, but newcomer of the year is a pretty special award.
“He’s a great athlete, and hopefully, he just keeps working hard, and we’ll see what he’s able to do in the future.”
The accolades extended beyond the district for Harvey, who also landed on the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association’s Class 4A All-State Second Team alongside Eagles teammate Drew Dobbins — a third-team pitcher.
Salado junior Jacob Wilk captured the all-district offensive player of the year award Harvey hoped to claim. Wilk finished second on the team in hits with 37, adding 30 RBIs and 22 runs scored, but he considers the performance merely just a normal day’s work.
“I was just taking care of business,” Wilk said. “I’m supposed to deliver for my team when I’m in the box, but it is still a very cool award to have.”
Liberty Hill sophomore Chandler Freeman was named most valuable player, while teammate Connor Thompson, a senior, and Taylor junior Joel Cruz split the defensive player of the year award to round out the superlatives.
Dobbins, a junior, was one of two Eagles to land on the first team, joining junior Ryan Oakes.
Along with posting an 11-1 pitching record and striking out 76 batters, Dobbins’ batting average was .376 with 35 hits, 23 RBIs and 24 runs scored. Oakes, an outfielder, led Salado with 35 runs scored and tallied 29 hits and 15 RBIs.
Senior catcher Cullen McKinney and junior second baseman Kade Maedgen rounded out the Eagles selections with each being placed on the second team after helping Salado (18-13-1, 9-3) reach the regional quarterfinals.
“As a team,” Cooper said, “I think everybody pretty much got what they deserved, and I think the team was represented well.”
BADGERS PITCHER GETS DISTRICT, STATE HONORS: On the heels of the program’s best showing in more than a decade, Lampasas senior pitcher Levi Geagley was placed on the all-district first team and the all-state third team.
Geagley, who recovered from a fractured hand late in the district schedule, was perfect on the mound, going 10-0, including an 8-3 victory against Giddings, giving the Badgers their first playoff victory since 2006.
Three other Lampasas players joined Geagley on the all-district first team after the Badgers ended an 11-year postseason drought by going 6-6 in district en route to an overall record of 17-12.
Braden Terry, a junior, and senior Harrison Gillespie were recognized as outfielders, and senior Santos Vega earned his spot as a designated hitter.
Lampasas senior pitcher Brayden Allen, senior first baseman Garrett Witcher, senior third baseman Mateo Maldonado and outfielder Gage Berry were each placed on the second team.