In the last few days, so many awards and honors have rolled in for members of the Kilgore High School baseball team, they’re having to beat them off with a stick.
Or maybe a bat.
At any rate, Chase Hampton, a Texas Tech University commit who just finished his junior year, was named the overall most valuable player in District 16-4A, which the Bulldogs won for a third straight year; several of Hampton’s teammates dominate the landscape of said all-district team; Jayce McFarland was named to the UIL Class 4A state tournament’s all-tournament team; and Gus Witt will go back to the Austin area this weekend to compete in an all-star game.
Hampton, who went 12-3 on the season, secured the vote of the coaches in 16-4A as the district’s best player. And he was far from alone on that all-district team.
Witt and Kilgore catcher Khalon Clayton, both recently graduated, were named co-winners of the 16-4A offensive most valuable player award; another recent KHS grad, Connor Martin, was named 16-4A’s defensive MVP; and Kilgore’s coaching staff took home coaches of the year honors.
In addition, Kilgore’s Cade Pippen was named first-team at second base; Jerrick “Deuce” Ervin was named first-team center fielder; McFarland was named first-team right fielder; and Cole Thompson, first-team all-district designated hitter.
Kilgore pitcher Brayden Johnson was named 16-4A second-team.
As for McFarland’s state honor, he was named to the 4A all-tournament team by members of the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association, as the all-tournament 4A right fielder. Filling out the all-tournament team in 4A were Argyle pitcher Chad Ricker, catcher Austin King, second baseman Preston King, utility player Bo Hogebroom, and MVP Dillon Carter, as well as La Vernia first baseman Lance Kruse, and Sweeny third baseman Joe Effenburger, shortstop Caden Homniok, outfielder Blake Benavides, and outfielder Quinton Martin.
Witt makes the trip back Austin-way on Saturday for the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association’s All-Star Game, the 46th annual event. Witt will play in the 2A-3A-4A game, which begins at 10 a.m. at Dell Diamond in Round Rock, where the Round Rock Express play their home games. The 5A-6A game will follow.
Witt, Kilgore’s shortstop last year, will be part of the North all-stars. It’s the third straight year Kilgore will have a player in the game, although several other Bulldogs over the years have been so honored.
Kilgore finished the 2019 season with a 32-8 record, under coach Eugene Lafitte. The Kilgore News Herald plans a special section this Saturday, June 15, as a tribute to the team.