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Vikings' Presson heads Super 22 baseball team

Douglas Fritz • May 31, 2018 at 12:15 AM

In one of the best area high school baseball seasons in recent memory, Tennessee High’s Banks Presson stood above the crowd.

The Vikings’ senior shortstop was chosen Wednesday as the Johnson City Press/Kingsport Times News Super 22 player of the year.

Presson became the first-ever Tennessee High player to earn the honor on the 31st annual team.

Super 22

Player of the Year

Banks Presson, Tennessee High

Coach of the Year

Ryan Presnell, Elizabethton

THE LINEUP

(With honorary batting order)

Order Player Team Class Avg HR RBI
No. 1 Ben Grable Science Hill Sr. .371 9 35
No. 2 Corey Russell Elizabethton Jr. .389 1 50
No. 3 Banks Presson Tenn. High Sr. .479 10 58

No. 4

Gavin Cross Tenn. High Jr. .475 12 60
No. 5 Chance Hall Science Hill Sr. .350 10 50
No. 6 Evan Carter Elizabethton So. .367 2 46
No. 7 David Bryant Science Hill Sr. .370 9 43
No. 8 Brogan Beckner D-B Jr. .314 4 28
No. 9 Eric Rigsby Daniel Boone Sr. .408 2 28

PITCHING ROTATION

Pos Player Team Class W-L ERA
Ace Brandon Feathers Science Hill Sr. 9-2 1.15
SP2 Tre Shoun Elizabethton Sr. 10-2 1.35
SP3 John Ramsey Unaka Jr. 9-3 1.01
SP4 Cas Blevins University High Sr. 10-4 0.90
Setup Garrett Wilkins Science Hill Sr. 7-2 1.48
Closer Clay Simpson Unicoi County Sr. 4-3 3.24

SECOND TEAM

Cade Elliott, Daniel Boone, So.; Ryan Wetzel, Elizabethton, Sr.; Cannon Ferrell, Dobyns-Bennett, Sr.; Caleb Wilson, Unicoi County, Sr.; Owen Nicholson, Unicoi County, Sr.; Jack Bembry, University High, Sr.; Elias Arnold, Sullivan East, Sr.

FIRST TEAM

Presson was joined on the first team by teammate Gavin Cross along with Science Hill standouts Ben Grable, Chance Hall and David Bryant. Elizabethton had two players on the first team in Corey Russell and Evan Carter while Dobyns-Bennett’s Brogan Beckner and Daniel Boone’s Eric Rigsby also earned the honor.

Science Hill headlined the pitching staff with Brandon Feathers getting the nod as the ace. His teammate, Garrett Wilkins, was selected as the setup man. Rounding out the rotation were Elizabethton’s Tre Shoun, Unaka’s John Ramsey and University High’s Cas Blevins while Unicoi County’s Clay Simpson was picked as the squad’s closer.

Unicoi landed two players on the second team in Owen Nicholson and Caleb Wilson. Also earning honors were Boone’s Cade Elliott, Elizabethton’s Ryan Wetzel, D-B’s Cannon Ferrell, UH’s Jack Bembry and Sullivan East’s Elias Arnold.

Elizabethton's Ryan Presnell was the pick as the coach of the year.

THE BATTING ORDER

Who wouldn’t want Grable in the leadoff spot? He stole 35 bases in 38 attempts and scored 58 runs with an on-base percentage of .528.

In the two hole, Russell fit nicely. He handled the bat well, stole 22 bases, and scored 39 runs with a .503 on-base percentage.

Presson owned the No. 3 spot with a crazy .479 batting average. He also scored a Super 22-best 70 runs. His teammate, Gavin Cross, was the easy pick for the cleanup spot, leading the Super 22 with 12 homers and 60 runs batted in. Cross also set a Northeast Tennessee record with 40 stolen bases, breaking a mark set in 1996 by Dobyns-Bennett’s Michael Farthing.

Hall, Carter and Bryant wouldn’t give an opposing pitcher any respite in the No. 5 through No. 7 spots. Hall had 26 extra-base hits, including 12 doubles. Carter had 16 steals and scored 40 runs while Bryant had 21 hits go for extra bases and slugged two state tournament home runs.

Rounding things out, Beckner totaled 12 doubles while Rigsby had 11 doubles and scored 33 runs.

THE STAFF

Feathers was easily the area’s best pitcher. He struck out 111 batters in 73 innings and threw a shutout against Knox Karns in the sectional round.

Shoun pitched big game after big game. He allowed just 53 hits in 67 1/3 innings and had a WHIP of 1.010.

Ramsey authored three no-hitters and struck out 115 batters in 62 2/3 innings.

The ERA king for the Super 22, Blevins allowed only 83 baserunners in 78 innings.

Wilkins racked up 68 strikeouts in 56 2/3 innings while Simpson amassed 109 strikeouts and totaled three saves.

THE COACH

Presnell started earning this honor after last year’s loss at Pigeon Forge in the sectional.

Before this year was over, Presnell had guided the Cyclones to 28 wins and their first state tournament victories in 60 years. His team finished third in the state in Class AA.

Also considered for the award were University High’s Josh Petty and Science Hill’s Ryan Edwards.

THE SECOND TEAM

Elliott led the way, batting .400 with 14 doubles and 27 RBIs.

Wetzel was a sparkplug, batting .409 and scoring 49 runs with a .497 on-base percentage.

Ferrell batted .345, scoring 33 runs and totaling 16 stolen bases.

Wilson batted .386 with four homers and 28 RBIs, and was also tough on the mound with six wins, 80 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.00.

Nicholson was one of the area’s best effort guys. He batted .373 with five homers and 16 stolen bases.

Bembry excelled at the plate (.370 average) and on the mound (8-4 with a 2.74 ERA).

Arnold had one of the area’s highest batting averages (.425) and scored 35 runs.

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