A curtain call for 13 local players
Charles Prince, Sports Editor
You've probably seen a curtain call during a major league baseball game. A player is called out of the dugout by the crowd after a game- changing play or after a home run.
The player comes out and tips his cap to acknowledge the fans' applause.
This week several local players get to take a curtain call for the outstanding seasons they had this spring.
Four area players were named to the All-State team and nine others were named honorable mention.
Being chosen for either list is quite an honor when you consider the number of athletes in Alabama who play on the baseball and softball diamonds of this state.
For example, take just one classification in the state. In 5A, 65 schools field baseball teams.
For the sake of argument we'll say each team has at least 15 players on their roster, so roughly 975 players play 5A-baseball. However in some classes the total number of players may be lower. Take for instance class 1A where only 58 high schools field baseball teams and, using our estimate of 15 players per team, you still come out with 870 athletes playing the game.
The same can be said for the number of softball players. The number of schools playing the game in Alabama ranges from a high of 69 schools in 1A to a low of 62 schools in 4A. So, the total number of players in each class ranges from 930 to 1,035.
However, the estimate of 15 on a roster could be low and the total numbers in each class for both sports would be even higher.
Each year the Alabama Sports Writers Association selects 15 players in each class for the All-State team.
Eight position players, four pitchers, two utility players and a designated hitter are chosen.
Besides those 15, this year an average of 19 players in each class received enough votes to make the honorable mention list.
Do the math. In each of the state's six classifications, only 34 players were chosen out of the 870-plus who play the game in that classification.
So, it's quite an accomplishment for any player to make the lists.
In our area, not only should we applaud Kristy Roberts, Charleston Wilson, Andrew Reeves and Dustin Hamilton for making All-State, but we should also applaud the play of Shanice Johnson and Kayla Orr for their play with the Hartselle Lady Tigers on the softball field. We also need to acknowledge Sara Parker's play, which helped Priceville to win its first area title and reach the sub-state playoffs.
On the baseball diamond, we should give a round of applause to Chris Wiley, Jordan Parker and Joe McClanahan for their play in helping Hartselle reach the second round of the state playoffs.
We also need to clap our hands and acknowledge the great seasons had by Thomas Hopkins of Danville, Brad Vest of Falkville and Dale Taylor of Priceville.
To all the young people on this list, please stand up and take a bow for the outstanding seasons you had. This is your curtain call.