POTEET BASEBALL ADAM BYRD

Poteet senior Adam Byrd was named to the 13-5A first team.

Poteet is the owner of one of the proudest baseball runs in Mesquite ISD history.

From 1993-2011, the Pirates qualified for the playoffs in 17 out of 19 seasons. Along the way, they advanced to four regional championship games, winning two. They finished as the state runner-up in 2007, falling to Corpus Christi Moody in the title game, and then in 2011, they advanced to the state semifinals, where they dropped a heartbreaking 6-5 decision to Corpus Christi Calallen in 10 innings.

The recent years have not been as kind to Poteet, as it has just three playoff appearances in the last decade, the most recent of which was in 2019.

That trend continued this season, as the Pirates finished fifth in 13-5A, but a quick glance at their schedule hints they are not as far off the pace as some would believe.

Poteet actually had a winning overall record for the season at 15-12-1.

They went 6-8 in district play, but five of those eight setbacks were close games.

The Pirates dropped a 7-6 decision to 13-5A champion North Forney. Against runner-up Highland Park, they lost a pair of pitcher’s duels by scores of 1-0 and 3-0. The district season also included a 4-2 setback against Royse City and another 1-0 loss to Forney.

While some of those close outcomes left Poteet wondering what might have been, there were plenty of positives along the way, as well, and they recently had four players named to the 13-5A all-district team.

That group was led by senior outfielder Adam Byrd, who was the lone member selected to the first team.

Byrd ranked among the district leaders at the plate, batting .439 with 21 runs scored, 17 walks, four doubles, two triples, two home runs and nine runs batted in. He was also a key part of the pitching rotation as the district season progressed and in 34.1 innings of work, he had 73 strikeouts and allowed only nine earned runs.

Three more Pirates were named to the second team.

Senior pitcher Jeffrey Young was a key reliever, striking out 19 in 12.1 innings and allowing only three earned runs and he also contributed with his bat, hitting .250 with 11 runs scored, five driven in, two doubles, a triple and a home run.

Sophomore Alex Reyes made an impact on the mound, averaging nearly a strikeout per inning, and also hit .278 with 13 runs, 12 walks and 11 RBIs.

Junior shortstop Gabe Rodriguez came on strong as the season went on, hitting .346 in his last nine games, and overall, had 10 runs scored, nine walks, a pair of doubles and 14 runs batted in.

District champion North Forney captured four superlative awards.

Junior Nick Gray was tabbed offensive most valuable player and fellow junior Cole Lancaster was named newcomer of the year. Sophomore Preston Crow was voted as the co-underclassman of the year and Tommy Sparks and his staff were named coaching staff of the year.

The Falcons landed four additional players on the first team with senior pitcher Jayden Olsen, senior catcher Elian Gonzales, senior first baseman Jaden Gonzalez, junior outfielder Juan Cantua and senior designated hitter Cole Cather.

District runner-up Highland Park had five players selected to the first team headlined by one superlative award winner in senior Calvin Williams, who was voted pitcher of the year.

Joining Williams were junior pitcher Collin Valentine, senior catcher Josh Bowers, junior shortstop Preston Gamster and senior outfielder Patrick Turner.

Royse City earned a pair of major awards as senior Tyson Neighbors was honored as the most valuable player and senior Rowdy Chandler claimed defensive most valuable player.

Neighbors was one of the top hitters in the area, posting a .473 batting average with nine doubles, three triples, 11 home runs, 41 runs scored and 36 RBIs. He also led the team with 26 stolen bases. Neighbors was also effective on the mound, posting a 1.11 earned run average and striking out 52 in 25.1 innings.

Chandler had a .907 fielding percentage on defense was also a key member of the lineup, hitting .315 with four doubles, four home runs, 22 stolen bases, 33 runs scored and 20 RBIs.

Rounding out the superlative honors, Forney freshman Aiden Sims was voted as the co-underclassman of the year. Sims was joined on the first team by fellow Jackrabbits senior pitcher Rylan Byrd, junior third baseman Ryan Dickey and junior utility player Jake White.

13-5A Baseball All-District Team

Most Valuable Player

Tyson Neighbors  Sr.     Royse City

Offensive Most Valuable Player

Nick Gray   Jr.      North Forney

Defensive Most Valuable Player

Rowdy Chandler  Sr.     Royse City

Pitcher of the Year

Calvin Williams   Sr.     Highland Park

Newcomer of the Year

Cole Lancaster     Jr.      North Forney

Co-Underclassman of the Year

Aiden Sims Fr.     Forney

Preston Crow       So.    North Forney

Coaching Staff of the Year

North Forney

First Team

Jayden Olsen        Sr.     P       North Forney

Rylan Byrd Sr.     P       Forney

Collin Valentine   Jr.               Highland Park

Josh Bowers         Sr.     C       Highland Park

Elian Gonzales     Sr.     C       North Forney

Jaden Gonzalez    Sr.     1B     North Forney

Pierce Corbo        Jr.      2B     Crandall

Ryan Dickey        Jr.      3B     Forney

Preston Gamster  Jr.      SS     Highland Park

Adam Byrd Sr.     OF     Poteet

Patrick Turner      Sr.     OF     Highland Park

Juan Cantua         Jr.      OF     North Forney

Cole Cather Sr.     DH    North Forney

Jake White  Jr.      U       Forney

Second Team

Jeffrey Young       Sr.     P       Poteet

Alex Reyes So.    P       Poteet

Mac Moreland      Sr.     P       Highland Park

Pierce Gisler         So.    C       Crandall

Austin Cruse        Sr.     1B     Crandall

Graham Danziger Sr.     2B     North Forney

Josh Stephens      Jr.      2B     Forney

Kade Owen Jr.      2B     Royse City

Garrett Williams  Sr.     3B     North Forney

London Phillips    Jr.      3B     Crandall

Gabe Rodriguez    Jr.      SS     Poteet

Wyatt Treadwell  Jr.      SS     Forney

Jayln Phillips       Sr.     OF     Forney

Harrison Dugger  Sr.     OF     Highland Park

Zach Sullivan       Sr.     OF     Crandall

Justin Morales      Sr.     OF     Royse City

Trent McGee        Jr.      DH    Forney

Garrett Phillips    Sr.     U       Greenville

Austin Cruse        Sr.     U       Crandall

For continued coverage on the local sports scene, follow Devin Hasson on Twitter: @DevinHasson

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