Belton’s talent spread all over the field, and the awards prove it.
One year after the coronavirus pandemic erased the season in its infancy, the Tigers cruised to the District 12-6A championship, winning 13 of 14 games by an average of 6.8 runs while avenging their lone loss — a 2-0 defeat against Temple — with an 11-5 victory in the rematch.
And along with its collective success, Belton received multiple individual accolades.
The Tigers saw a majority of their players recognized on the 12-6A All-District Team, highlighted by senior pitcher/outfielder Brady Shadrick, who was named the most valuable player.
He was one of seven Tigers to earn a superlative or a spot on the first team, and the honors stretched across the field with Belton players recognized at pitcher, catcher, infield, outfield and designated hitter.
Tigers junior third baseman Josh Westbrook was named co-defensive player of the year, sharing the honor with Harker Heights senior Jacob Bermea, while senior teammates Jason Bonnett (pitcher), Cooper Babcock (catcher), Scott Gurnett (second base) and juniors T.J. Johnson (outfield) and Jacob Estrada (designated hitter) were each placed on the first team.
Additionally, Caleb Alexander (first base), Ben Jones (shortstop) and Keagan Wolfe (outfield), who are all seniors, landed on the second team for Belton.
Finishing second in the district standings, the Knights were the only other team to collect a pair of superlatives as junior shortstop Easton Culp joined Bermea by being named offensive player of the year.
Senior teammate Austin Mitchell was Harker Heights’ lone first-team selection, receiving one of the four spots awarded to pitchers.
Temple senior Aaron Wagaman was named pitcher of the year, and Killeen freshman Cade Searcy was named newcomer of the year to round out the superlatives. It was Kangaroos’ only appearance on the list.
Capturing the district’s final two playoff berths, Copperas Cove and Ellison combined to place five players on the first team, while Temple added three after finishing in a three-way tie for third place.
Dekan Radigan, a pitcher, and utility player Russel Cochran capped off their senior seasons with first-team recognition, and they were joined by junior teammate Travis Sanders, a shortstop, while Ellison was represented by junior third baseman Joseph Marin and senior outfielder Julian Vascot.
The Wildcats’ trio of senior pitcher Bryan Williams, senior first baseman Isiah Fach and junior outfielder Johnny Donoso, along with Shoemaker junior outfielder James Bowyer completed the first team.
Harker Heights was the most recognized team on the second team with four selections — junior pitcher Bryce Haws, junior catcher Tanner Wells, sophomore second baseman Jett Millsap and freshman third baseman Michael Saiz.
Ellison junior first baseman Carlos Roman-Perez rounded out the second-team infielders, while senior teammate Adam Quintero was named to the second-team outfield along with Bulldawgs senior Jace Johnson, Shoemaker senior Ilian Vasquez and Temple senior Dylan Hinkle.
Bryan junior pitcher Mason Ruiz was also placed on the second team as the Vikings’ only selection.
ALL-DISTRICT 12-6A TEAM
MVP—Brady Shadrick, Belton, sr.
Pitcher of the Year—Aaron Wagaman, Temple, sr.
Offensive Player of the Year—Easton Culp, Harker Heights, jr.
Co-Defensive Player of the Year—Jacob Bermea, Harker Heights, sr.; Josh Westbrook, Belton, jr.
Newcomer of the Year—Cade Searcy, Killeen, fr.
Pitchers—Dekan Radigan, Copperas Cove, sr.; Jason Bonnett, Belton, sr.; Bryan Williams, Temple, sr.; Austin Mitchell, Harker Heights, sr.
Catcher—Cooper Babcock, Belton, sr.
First baseman—Isiah Fach, Temple, sr.
Second baseman—Scott Gurnett, Belton, sr.
Shortstop—Travis Sanders, Copperas Cove, jr.
Third baseman—Joseph Marin, Ellison, jr.
Outfielders—TJ Johnson, Belton, jr.; Julian Vascot, Ellison, sr.; James Bowyer, Shoemaker, sr.; Johnny Donoso, Temple, jr.
Utility player—Russel Cochran, Copperas Cove, sr.
Designated hitter—Jacob Estrada, Belton, jr.
Pitchers—Mason Ruiz, Bryan, jr.; Bryce Haws, Harker Heights, jr.
Catcher—Tanner Wells, Harker Heights, jr.
First baseman—Carlos Roman-Perez, Ellison, jr.; Caleb Alexander, Belton, sr.
Second baseman—Jett Millsap, Harker Heights, so.
Shortstop—Ben Jones, Belton, sr.
Third baseman—Michael Saiz, Harker Heights, fr.
Outfielders—Jace Johnson, Copperas Cove, sr.; Ilian Vasquez, Shoemaker, sr.; Keagan Wolfe, Belton, sr.; Adam Quintero, Ellison, sr.; Dylan Hinkle, Temple, sr.