Appalachian Newspapers recently named its All-Mountain Teams.
The All-Mountain team will consist of Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, First-Team, Second-Team, Third-Team and Honorable Mentions.
The All-Mountain Teams consist of Players from Mingo County, Pike County, Floyd County, Johnson County and Perry County and entire 15th Region coverage areas.
The All-Mountain Team was voted on by Appalachian Newspapers sports writers: Randy White, Cory Vance, Steve LeMaster, Trevor Thacker, Mike Muncy and Cody Davis.
All-Mountain Coach of the Year
The first-ever Appalachian Newspapers Inc. Coach of the Year is Pikeville’s Dave Thomas.
“We had a great season,” Thomas said. “Winning back-to-back 15th Region championships was our goal from day one. Our girls were determined to get back to the state tournament. Our older girls have made seven trips to Owensboro over a five year span.”
Thomas led the Lady Panthers to back-to-back 15th Region All “A” Classic and 15th Region championships.
The Lady Panthers finished with a 31-11 record.
“I’m very proud of what we have been able to accomplish with our softball program,” Thomas said. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls or coaches to work with. Ronald Conn did a great job with our young pitchers and dedicated many hours to help make this team special.”
Coach of the Year finalists
Besides Thomas being named the Coach of the Year, Perry Central’s Bobby Ratliff, Belfry’s Ryan Chapman, Pike Central’s Quinton Morgan and Shelby Valley’s Mikie Hall were all Coach of the Year finalists.
Ratliff led Perry Central to the 14th Region championship game. The Lady Commodores fell in the finals to Estill County.
Morgan led Pike Central to a 24-13 record and the 60th District title in his first season in charge of the Lady Hawks. Pike Central showed great improvement this season and advanced to the 15th Region semifinals against Lawrence County. The Lady Hawks fell to the Lady Bulldogs 10-2. Pike Central will return a lot of talent next season.
Chapman had Belfry on the cusp of competing for a region title, but starting pitcher Kailee Rash was injured in the final week of the season.
Hall had the Lady Wildcats in the mix. Shelby Valley was up and down last season, but played their best ball going into the 15th Region Tournament. The Lady Wildcats were knocked out of the region tournament by Pike Central 7-5.