By Steven Kochersperger
The Mount Vernon baseball team held their annual awards banquet this past week to honor the individual and team accomplishments of the 2013 baseball season. All together the banquet went well and the team members ready to move on to their summer activities after a great season of baseball. And though many will remember the season by its abrupt ending in the sectional opener, coach Paul Quinzer reminded all in attendance that the season was much more than their ending.
The season began with the Wildcats traveling to Terre Haute and winning the ‘bash.’ This helped the Cats race off to a great start on their season. In fact, Mount Vernon started the season by going 11-1 in their first twelve games of the season. Quinzer called this start both good and bad. “You don’t want to be at your best in April,” coach Quinzer said. “We want to play our best at sectional time.”
The next twelve games the Wildcats cooled down going 6-6 and eventually ending their regular season with an overall record of 21-7. This had the team, coaches, and fans believing they would be able to come into the sectional and make some noise. But as any baseball fan knows, the sport can be very unpredictable in a one game playoff. The Cats dropped the sectional opener to the Gibson Southern Titans.
At the banquet the coaches all spoke and gave out the junior varsity and varsity letters to the athletes that had earned them. But among the many awards given out Monday night the most important awards given were to the several players that had attained the honor of being named to the Big Eight All Academic Conference honors. Those players are Ross Canada, Hank Dausman, Clay Ford, Drake McNamara, Jevin Redman, Seth Reeves, River VanZant, and Collin Varner. These athletes should be proud of their accomplishments.
The coaches also gave out other awards and honored their seniors. Senior Ross Canada was honored by being named to the Academic All State team as was outfielder River VanZant. Both these players had the grades to be named to such a high honor and several more were just a hair away from also attaining this award.
The Big Eight All Conference Pitcher of the year award went to Trevor Veeck. Veeck also was awarded the team award of Best Pitcher as he turned in a great season on the mound for the Wildcats.
Clay Ford was also named to the Big Eight All Conference team as well. Ford played first base for the Wildcats and ended up being a solid presence defensively and offensively for Mount Vernon all year long.
Senior Drake McNamara was named All conference as well and also ended up being awarded the team award of Best Hitter. McNamara was by far the steadiest bat the wildcats had all season and he now moves on to play college baseball at the University of Southern Indiana.
The last player to be honored with an award was Collin Varner. Varner was given the team award of Defensive Player of the year for his great play in the outfield as well as on the mound.
All together the team should be proud of the season they had. The Wildcats say goodbye to nine seniors who have played together for several years and have helped build the baseball program. Those seniors will be missed. Its now time for the younger players to step up and fill their shoes.
By Steven Kochersperger
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