Atchley, Frost lead all-state contingent
ASWA honors 18 players with spots on first or second teams
By Brooke Milam
Several area baseball programs received a lift Sunday as the Alabama Sports Writers Association releases its all-state team.
Nine players from the area of Morgan, Limestone and Lawrence counties plus Addison made first-team all-state, while nine others were named to the honorable mention list, representing 12 schools.
Decatur Heritage’s senior catcher Drew Atchley became the first Eagles baseball player to earn first-team all-state, bringing recognition to the six-year-old program that reached the state quarterfinals in Class 1A for the first time this season.
“I think Drew getting this honor, it’ll give us a little more credibility and hopefully more people will look at Decatur Heritage for its athletics as well as being the good Christian school that it is,” Decatur Heritage coach Steve Atchley said when he heard the news Saturday. “We have some really good athletes here. The future is looking bright.”
The all-state awards also provided a spark for several reputable programs that have received honors in the past.
Decatur High’s sophomore third baseman John Frost was selected first team in Class 5A, becoming the first Red Raiders baseball player named first team since Cole Barthel (2001), who was drafted and played four seasons in the Atlanta Braves system. After leaving baseball, Barthel is now a football quarterback at Arkansas Tech.
Decatur coach Mike Burns said Frost is the same type of talent as Barthel and deserving of the honor.
“(Frost and Barthel) are very similar in that they both have the God-given ability, but they are also extremely hard workers,” Burns said.
“Not every player has that combination. That’s what made Cole a success and that’s what’s making John Frost a success.”
Three players received first-team all-state nods in 4A, including Priceville senior first baseman Dustin Chambers and junior outfielder Matt Croft and Lawrence County senior utility player Wes Holley in Class 4A.
Class 2A first-teamers include Addison senior second baseman Jake Gilliland, West Morgan junior outfielder Josh McAbee and Hatton’s senior shortstop, Will Nichols, and senior Chris Hutto, who made the team as a designated hitter.
Named to the honorable mention list were 6A Austin senior outfielder Ty Chancelor, 5A Hartselle senior outfielder Quinn Dunlap and junior pitcher J.C. Bates, 3A Danville junior outfielder Dakota Wilson, 2A Tanner senior catcher George Adams, Addison senior outfielder Blake Turner, Hatton senior third baseman Matthew Dudley, 1A Speake junior first baseman Jesse Crowe and Decatur Heritage junior shortstop Bo Godwin.
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