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MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2007
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Austin senior Ty Chancelor is Class 4A-6A player of year

By Brooke Milam
Bmilam@decaturdaily.com· 340-2460

Austin High’s baseball team knew it could count on senior Ty Chancelor this season. In a good game, the Black Bears could count on Chancelor to provide highlights. On an off night, they could count on Chancelor to provide a spark and give his team a chance. And when a losing streak struck about mid-season, Austin coach Jake Miles said it was Chancelor who pulled the Black Bears out of the slump.

“Around spring break, we weren’t playing very well, and Ty asked me and (assistant Coach Steve Meek) if we minded getting off the bus, so he could talk to the team at the end of a road trip,” Miles said.

“He had that team meeting, and we won six straight after that.”

Normally a mild-mannered, quiet leader, Chancelor also led vocally when his team needed it.

The Black Bears put together a strong second-half of the season to advance to the Class 6A state playoffs and Chancelor is The Daily’s Class 4A-6A player of the year.

The center fielder hit .475 this season with a school-record 67 hits, including 17 doubles and 11 home runs.

Chancelor drove in 39 runs and scored 53 times. He was also 20-of-20 on stolen base attempts.

“With Ty, he goes about his business quietly, so you don’t really realize how good he’s doing until it comes to the 10th or 15th game, and he’s still putting up the same kind of numbers,” Miles said. “Every time we needed him in a game, he came through. You could just get a feel for when he was going to do something big. I think our coaches knew it. Our players knew it, and our fans knew it.”

Miles said Chancelor was “Mr. Consistency” for Austin this season.

The Black Bears put together a 20-22 record and finished 6A, Area 16 runner-up behind Florence.

Chancelor produced top statistics against a brutal schedule that included a pair of state champions, 6A Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa and 5A Cullman, and a slew of ranked teams.

“Towards the end of the year when we were pushing for the playoffs, everybody started really playing,” Chancelor said. “With more people on base, there were more opportunities to hit runs in. Everybody was really doing their job.”

Austin’s season ended in the first round of the state playoffs with a 6-2 loss to eventual state champion Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa.

“All the teams we played were really good, and we had to show up to play every game against that kind of competition,” Chancelor said. “I just wanted to do the best I could to help our team reach the playoffs.”

After hitting the weight room in the offseason, Chancelor, who has signed with Northwest-Shoals Community College, thrived at the plate, moving from leadoff to 3-hole in the lineup.

Miles said Chancelor’s extra-base hitting ability and speed is “a nice combo” and something that will continue to set him apart at the collegiate level.

“He hit home runs, he drove in runs, he stole bases ... And he did all that in a position when the other team knew he was the best offensive player in the lineup,” Miles said.

“I think his best baseball is ahead of him. He’s got a future.

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