SHENANDOAH – Shenandoah baseball wrapped up the season with its annual banquet, sponsored by Bank Iowa, Tuesday, Aug. 6 at the Elks Lodge.
Shenandoah head coach Brett Roberts presented several team awards, headlined by sophomore Owen McCunn being named the varsity Most Outstanding Player. McCunn led the team with 24 hits and did most of the catching, stepping in for the graduated Kyle Owens and Cole Nebel, who had done nearly all of it for the past five seasons.
Brody Owen took home the junior varsity Most Outstanding Player award.
Blake Doyle was named the varsity Pitcher of the Year. Doyle threw 39 innings and became the player that drew many of the big games over the course of the season. He finished 2-4 with 27 strikeouts and a 3.77 ERA in 39 innings.
Logan Dickerson, who finished fourth on the varsity in innings pitched, was named junior varsity Pitcher of the Year.
AJ Herold was named the varsity Offensive Player of the Year. Herold hit six home runs, the most by a player in head coach Brett Roberts’ tenure, and drove in 27 runs, nearly double the second most on the team. He scored 22 runs, also the highest total on the team.
Nick Mather was the junior varsity Offensive Player of the Year.
Braden Knight and Anthony Stogdill shared the varsity Defensive Player of the Year award. Stogdill’s nine outfield assists were the most in Roberts’ tenure as coach while Knight cut his errors in half from last season at shortstop on a similar number of attempts. Both finished with a fielding percentage higher than .900 and Roberts felt those two were among the best defensively at their position in the Hawkeye 10 Conference.
Beau Gardner and Owen were named junior varsity Defensive Players of the Year.
Mather was named the varsity Most Improved Player. He led the team with 44 2/3 innings on the mound, finishing with a 4.70 ERA and 34 strikeouts.
Couper Gile earned the junior varsity’s Most Improved Player.
Cain Lorimor was given the Multi-Toole Award, named after former Lewis Central and Iowa Hawkeye Justin Toole, who played all nine positions in a single minor league baseball game.
Christian Dukes was the junior varsity’s winner of the Multi-Toole Award.
Blake Herold, who was strong defensively mainly at third base for the Mustangs, was named the program’s Newcomer of the Year.
Roberts also spent a few moments on each player in the program. Kyle Cerven earned his fourth varsity letter with his senior year still remaining. Roberts believes five letters has only been achieved once, by Owens, in his time as head coach.
All of the juniors and sophomores that were present at the banquet received a varsity letter. Dickerson was the only freshman there to earn a letter. Roberts praised the freshmen class as one that has a lot of athletes out for multiple sports. Two of the three eighth graders in the program received varsity letters in Blake Herold and Gardner.
Roberts also recognized the players that had received awards from outside the program, including the Distinguished Academic Award from the Iowa High School Athletic Association for achieving a team Grade Point Average of 3.24 to 4.0.
The program began with a welcome from Bank Iowa’s Shelly Anderson and the meal was catered by Lu and Al’s Nishna Valley Café in Shenandoah.
Roberts thanked lots of people, including his assistant coaches saying “what they do can’t be fully expressed in words.” He went on to thank the parents for supporting their boys playing baseball saying “the kids deserve all the credit in the world for signing up for baseball.”
The awards part of the program followed, and then Roberts addressed the room commenting on the baseball season finishing up a disappointing year in boys athletics at Shenandoah. He challenged the kids to “be the change,” and telling them there is an “opportunity to be the group to flip the culture.”
He added that everyone must contribute, but the kids are the ones that do the work and that starts now with the beginning of the football and cross country seasons. A good fall can build momentum for a good winter, which can continue to transition into the 2020 baseball season, which is set to return literally everybody from this year’s group that finished with a 7-23 record.