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 Player of the Year
Perry Central standout Braxton Cottongame is the first-ever All-Mountain Baseball Player of the Year.
Cottongame could do it all. He was a lights out pitcher and an outstanding first baseman. He was also an outstanding hitter.
Cottongame signed with the University of Kentucky to play baseball at the next level. He was also drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the Major League Baseball Draft. Cottongame will stick with his commitment and play for the Wildcats next spring.
Cottongame helped lead Perry Central to a 26-6 record this season. The Commodores won the 54th District championship over Hazard, but fell to the Bulldogs in the 14th Region championship game.
Player of the Year finalists
Other players receiving Player of the Year consideration were Paintsville’s Mason Moore and Seth Williams, Hazard’s Devin Morris and Pikeville’s Kevin Justice.
Paintsville’s Moore was one of the top pitchers in the 15th Region. Moore had an outstanding freshman season and delivered some big performances for the Tigers, especially in the postseason.
Paintsville’s Williams is one of the top shortstops in the state. He can hit and play defense. He has been a staple in the Tiger’s rotation for several years.
Hazard’s Devin Morris was one of the top pitchers in the state. Morris helped lead the Bulldogs to the Final Four of the Sweet 16.
Pikeville’s Kevin Justice was one of the top pitchers in the mountains, but he was one of the top hitters as well. Justice was primarily known for his work on the mound until his senior season. Justice hit .391 with a .500 on base percentage for the Panthers. He scored 35 runs, had 21 RBIs and added 19 stolen bases.
On the mound, Justice had four wins with 46 strikeouts in 33 innings. He was also named the 59th District Player of the Year.