Houston senior Kyle Poynter was named the SCA's baseball player of the year. He received the same honor in basketball.

BRENT HALL, coach of the year

Hall directed the Houston Tigers to the SCA tournament and regular-season titles. Houston finished with a 17-5 record and runners-up in the district. He was named the conference’s coach of the year for the third time. “To have the players we had and the athletes we had, that’s just a direct reflection of them. It’s all about the players,” Hall said.

KYLE POYNTER, first team pitcher & player of the year

Poynter followed his all-state junior year with an even better final season. Poynter went 9-3 on the mound with a 1.51 ERA. He struck out 111 batters — the most in Hall’s tenure — in 69 1/3 innings while consistently throwing in the low 80s. Poynter was just as good at the plate. He led the Tigers in batting (.547), hits (35), triples (3) home runs (5), RBIs (25) and on-base percentage (.643). He didn’t strike out in 64 at-bats — another first under Hall. “Another great year. Some of the seniors we’ve had have dropped off a bit. That wasn’t the case with Kyle,” Hall said. “He’s a competitor. It doesn’t matter what he’s doing. Even in practice, he was competing against himself and everyone else.”

LUCAS COOPERMAN, first team utility

A transfer from Cabool,  Cooperman was the catalyst of the Tigers’ offense in the leadoff spot. He batted .354 and scored a team-high 28 runs. At first base, Cooperman didn’t commit an error in 133 innings on the field. “That’s pretty remarkable because first basemen see a lot of chances over there,” Hall said. “He can do the splits to extend and get out there a little further than others.”

ELI SMITH, first team infielder

Smith anchored the middle of Houston’s lineup as the clean-up hitter. He batted .365 and ranked third in RBIs (22) and fourth in runs (22). He also had a .476 on-base percentage. Smith started every game at third base. “A baseball player is the best way to describe him. Some people say he’s a little bit quirky or strange, but that’s the way baseball players are,” Hall said. “He was Mr. Dependable, and he was a leader for this team. A lot of people didn’t see that.”

KALEB POYNTER, second team infielder

Poynter was at his best late in the season. He homered and drove in five RBIs in the district semifinals against Ava. He was second on the team with a pair of homers and 23 RBIs and tied for the team lead with nine steals. He batted .314 and started at second base. “At the end of the year, he was one of our hottest bats,” Hall said. “He was kind of an unsung hero for us.”

CHRIS MOONEY, second team pitcher

Chris Mooney gave the Tigers a powerful 1-2 pitching combo. He went 6-1 with a 1.58 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 40 innings. Mooney also batted .283 with 27 runs. “A lot of batters probably got in the box and thought, ‘I’m going to knock the fire out of this kid.’ Five pitches into the at-bat, they’ve popped out, grounded out or struck out,” Hall said. “He knew where he wanted to throw the ball and put it there.”

J.R. KNETZER, second team utility

After missing several weeks with a knee injury, Knetzer batted .344 as DH with nine RBIs in 34 at-bats.

KENNY BARTON, honorable mention

A right fielder, Kenny Barton batted .216 and had 14 RBIs.

NATHAN MCCARTHY, honorable mention

Nathan McCarthy started every game behind the plate. He batted .143 and knocked in seven runs.

 

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