After working its way to a 16-6 mark in league play and a second-place D-I North finish during the regular season, Spanish Springs had a number of players worthy of recognition.
Leading the way for the Cougs were a trio of seniors who earned first-team honors. Nikk Audenried was named a first team all-league pitcher, while Lucas Jones and Matt Mannens received the same acknowledgement at outfielder and shortstop, respectively.
“I thought they were key to our season,” Spanish Springs coach Ben Hofmann said of the first-team honorees. “Nikk was our No. 1 starter all year, Matty played nearly every inning at shortstop and Lucas was our left fielder and our No. 3 hitter for the better part of the entire season. Any success we had was because of the strength of our seniors, and those three certainly led the way.”
A pair of SSHS players were named to the second team. Senior Garrett Covington received the all-league honor as a pitcher while junior Hunter Pinto was recognized as a second team all-league outfielder.
Kenny Semenko was named to the honorable mention list as a catcher, as was Jake Haley as a first baseman. Shannon Kelly also received an honorable mention nod for the Cougars to round out the collection for Spanish Springs.
For Reed, which finished D-I league play with a 14-8 mark good enough for the No. 6 seed in the postseason, a handful of players were also all-league selections.
Just one Raider was named a first-team selection as sophomore Brandon Koszuth was distinguished as a designated hitter.
“It was pretty unanimous as far as the vote went with him,” Reed coach John Phenix said. “All of the coaches were really, really impressed. Not just with his power, but his approach, and considering as young as he is, and to do what he did, they were just all complimentary of him, big time.”
The Blue and Gold had a duo collect second-team recognition. Senior Mark Nowaczewski received the honor as a pitcher while junior Joey Dice obtained the award as an outfielder.
To cap the Raiders’ winnings, Casey Higgins (outfielder), Thomas Sertic (pitcher), Tyler Starley (second baseman) and Dylan Miller were each named to the all-league honorable mention lists. Phenix said he was fairly pleased with the selections.
“Most of the time, everyone’s votes are pretty fair. Everything is open to discussion. Nobody really complains about it and just accepts what happens and goes with the vote,” he said. “The one that disappointed me most though was Starley. I thought he was a first or at least second-team guy. When you see your kids day in and day out, it’s tough not to vote for a kid like that.
In the Division I-A North, Sparks High took home a large haul of postseason awards, led by its four seniors.
Jared Longland headed the group of honorees. The senior was named the Mount Rose League MVP, as well as a first-team member of both the Div. I-A North and state. Seniors Casey Carter and Keiffer Putman both received first-team Mt. Rose honors, along with second team I-A North recognition, as an infielder and pitcher, respectively. Dustin Alexander also was named a first-team Mount Rose member as an outfielder.
“Our seniors really took control and led our team this year,” Sparks coach Greg Vasko said. “Jared worked hard all four years of his career here and so did the other guys with the exception of Dustin who was a transfer this season. They all contributed to our success this year, and in the past as well. As a whole, it just showed that they were very dedicated to the program and to improving. They helped guide a team with a lot of young players.”
The Railroaders had four more players noticed as well. Brandon Coleman, Travis Dulgar, Austin Garrick and Collin Ray each received second-team Mount Rose honors.
“There is something to be said about the work ethic that those kids had too,” Vasko said of the second-team recipients. “Those four are all sophomores and normally would have been on the JV team. They were able to step it up though. They utilized our summer league program and offseason workouts to get where they were. It’s a good foundation for next year.”