A near state tournament appearance tends to bring attention, and three Kilgore High School baseball players got more of it over the weekend, even though two of them have already finished their high school careers.
Javan Smitherman, Ren Reynolds and Chase Hampton were all honored over the weekend with the (somewhat late) release of the 2018 Collin Street Bakery Texas Sports Writers Association’s Class 4A all-state team. This is what many consider to be the real all-state team, because unlike others, this is chosen by those who actually cover the games, day-in and day-out, the entire season.
Smitherman, a pitcher, was named as part of the TSWA 4A second team, and Reynolds, a second baseman, was named to the third team. Both have graduated from KHS – Smitherman will continue his family legacy by attending Dallas Baptist this fall and suiting up for DBU next spring. Reynolds is headed to Frontier (Ill.) College.
A third Bulldog, Hampton, just finished his sophomore season. Hampton was named honorable mention TSWA as a pitcher.
The player of the year was Argyle’s Bryson Hudgens, a pitcher-designated hitter who helped the Eagles to an undefeated season and a 4A state championship. Hudgens, an Angelo State signee, went 12-0 and had a 1.06 ERA. He batted .417 with four home runs and 43 RBI.
It was Hudgens and his teammates that eliminated Kilgore in the round before the state tournament.