Warriors bask in postseason honors
State championships and postseason appearances do wonders for a school’s all-league and all-state count.
By capturing three state championships and earning a state runner-up finish in another, the Whittell High School Warriors benefited from their team success as coaches determined individual award winners.
Even though All-Northern 2A League baseball and softball teams are picked prior to postseason play, all-state honors are usually reserved for the teams playing at the end.
Whittell was the last team standing in baseball, and the Warriors were rewarded with four players being named first-team all-state: Seniors Jordan Morgan and Nick Warner and juniors Alex Potnick and Alex Vogt.
Potnick, who batted .622 for the season and hit 11 home runs, was selected as the Northern 2A League most valuable player. The shortstop/pitcher also slugged 15 doubles and five triples and knocked in 64 runs.
Morgan, Vogt and Warner also were first-team all-league choices.
Morgan, the workhorse hero of Whittell’s 7-6 state-clinching state championship win over Battle Mountain, finished with a 10-1 record and 2.63 earned run average. Vogt posted the same 10-1 record and registered a stingy 1.69 earned run average.
The Whittell aces also did their share of hitting, too. Morgan batted .446 with 15 doubles, three homers, three triples and 52 RBI. Vogt, meanwhile, launched three homers and seven doubles during a .429 hitting campaign.
Warner was second to Potnick on the team with seven roundtrippers. He belted 14 doubles and two triples and knocked in 29 runs while compiling a .441 overall average.
Second-team all-league honors went to a pair of additional offensive spark plugs: senior Adam Laub and sophomore Eric Ward. Laub hit .367 and stole 27 bases, while Ward was second on the team with a .476 average.
Earning honorable mention were senior Cody Nelson, junior Matt Schorr and junior Julian Washalefsky. Nelson hit .262 with 24 stolen bases, Schorr hit .414 with five doubles and 17 RBI and Washalefsky was 2-0 on the mound with a a 3.00 ERA.
Second-year Warriors’ skipper Starbuck Teevan received the league’s coach of the year award.
“I honestly thought I did a better job last year,” said Teevan, who led the Warriors into the state finals in his first two seasons. “This is a reward for all the kids have done and their work in the program.”
Miller named to first team in softball
Whittell’s softball program finished strong, qualifying for the regional tournament, where it nearly shocked league heavyweights Lovelock and Battle Mountain.
From a promising young team, the Warriors put sophomore outfielder Megan Miller on the first team and freshman pitcher Amanda Harris on the second team.
“I knew we were going to struggle to get these kids on the (all-league) team,” said Whittell coach Rich Barna. “I felt more should have received all-league, only because the other coaches didn’t respect us. I guarantee after the zone playoffs, they have a whole different respect for us now.”
Miller led the Warriors with a .333 batting average and supplied the game-deciding hit on the final day of the regular season that propelled Whittell past Silver Stage and into the postseason. Miller swiped 11 bases and was the Warriors’ MVP at a tournament in Las Vegas.
With a .564 on-base average, Miller was one of nine Warriors to top the .500 mark.
Harris delivered a hint of what can be expected in the next three years as she posted a 4-8 overall record with five saves and a 1.01 earned run average. The freshman pitched more than expected after junior Marissa Besson suffered a torn triceps muscle while trying to pick off a runner at third base.
In fact, Harris threw three straight complete games for the Warriors in the regional tournament. She finished with 79 strikeouts and 79 walks.
Twin sister Emily Harris seized the catcher’s role and didn’t relinquish it. She had a .957 fielding average and allowed just one passed ball in the regional tournament on her way to receiving honorable mention.
“She wouldn’t allow anyone to beat her out of that catcher’s spot,” Barna said. “I love her competitive spirit. She will get nothing but stronger and better.”
Before suffering a season-ending injury, Besson registered a 4-5 record, 1.60 ERA and 41 strikeouts.
“She was throwing in the high 50s and low 60s. If she comes back throwing anywhere near that, she’s going to be the stud of the league,” Barna said.
Koskin, Fairbank make first-team all-state
After winning their fourth straight state golf championship in May in Needles, the Warriors placed four players on the two all-state teams.
Senior Michael Koskin, a key member of all four state titles, and junior Trevor Fairbank, who tied for second in the state, were first-team selections.
Junior T.J. Kolesnik and Jake Williams earned second-team recognition.
Joining Koskin and Fairbank on the first team were North Tahoe’s Alex Griffith and Travis Boerner, Incline Jordan Wright and West Wendover’s Will Doudy.
State champion Foster Kenton of Hawthore was named the MVP, while veteran Whittell coach Steve Maltase was chosen coach of the year.
Nick Seemak of the Warriors was among nine players who received honorable mention.
Whittell’s girls’ track and field team won its sixth state championship in seven years and the boys were state runners-up. All-region and all-state teams were not released for track and field.