The Vikings’ senior shortstop was chosen Wednesday as the Johnson City Press/Kingsport Times News Super 22 player of the year.
Presson became the first-ever Tennessee High player to earn the honor on the 31st annual team.
Player of the Year
Banks Presson, Tennessee High
Coach of the Year
Ryan Presnell, Elizabethton
(With honorary batting order)
Cade Elliott, Daniel Boone, So.; Ryan Wetzel, Elizabethton, Sr.; Cannon Ferrell, Dobyns-Bennett, Sr.; Caleb Wilson, Unicoi County, Sr.; Owen Nicholson, Unicoi County, Sr.; Jack Bembry, University High, Sr.; Elias Arnold, Sullivan East, Sr.
Presson was joined on the first team by teammate Gavin Cross along with Science Hill standouts Ben Grable, Chance Hall and David Bryant. Elizabethton had two players on the first team in Corey Russell and Evan Carter while Dobyns-Bennett’s Brogan Beckner and Daniel Boone’s Eric Rigsby also earned the honor.
Science Hill headlined the pitching staff with Brandon Feathers getting the nod as the ace. His teammate, Garrett Wilkins, was selected as the setup man. Rounding out the rotation were Elizabethton’s Tre Shoun, Unaka’s John Ramsey and University High’s Cas Blevins while Unicoi County’s Clay Simpson was picked as the squad’s closer.
Unicoi landed two players on the second team in Owen Nicholson and Caleb Wilson. Also earning honors were Boone’s Cade Elliott, Elizabethton’s Ryan Wetzel, D-B’s Cannon Ferrell, UH’s Jack Bembry and Sullivan East’s Elias Arnold.
Elizabethton's Ryan Presnell was the pick as the coach of the year.
THE BATTING ORDER
Who wouldn’t want Grable in the leadoff spot? He stole 35 bases in 38 attempts and scored 58 runs with an on-base percentage of .528.
In the two hole, Russell fit nicely. He handled the bat well, stole 22 bases, and scored 39 runs with a .503 on-base percentage.
Presson owned the No. 3 spot with a crazy .479 batting average. He also scored a Super 22-best 70 runs. His teammate, Gavin Cross, was the easy pick for the cleanup spot, leading the Super 22 with 12 homers and 60 runs batted in. Cross also set a Northeast Tennessee record with 40 stolen bases, breaking a mark set in 1996 by Dobyns-Bennett’s Michael Farthing.
Hall, Carter and Bryant wouldn’t give an opposing pitcher any respite in the No. 5 through No. 7 spots. Hall had 26 extra-base hits, including 12 doubles. Carter had 16 steals and scored 40 runs while Bryant had 21 hits go for extra bases and slugged two state tournament home runs.
Rounding things out, Beckner totaled 12 doubles while Rigsby had 11 doubles and scored 33 runs.
Feathers was easily the area’s best pitcher. He struck out 111 batters in 73 innings and threw a shutout against Knox Karns in the sectional round.
Shoun pitched big game after big game. He allowed just 53 hits in 67 1/3 innings and had a WHIP of 1.010.
Ramsey authored three no-hitters and struck out 115 batters in 62 2/3 innings.
The ERA king for the Super 22, Blevins allowed only 83 baserunners in 78 innings.
Wilkins racked up 68 strikeouts in 56 2/3 innings while Simpson amassed 109 strikeouts and totaled three saves.
Presnell started earning this honor after last year’s loss at Pigeon Forge in the sectional.
Before this year was over, Presnell had guided the Cyclones to 28 wins and their first state tournament victories in 60 years. His team finished third in the state in Class AA.
Also considered for the award were University High’s Josh Petty and Science Hill’s Ryan Edwards.
THE SECOND TEAM
Elliott led the way, batting .400 with 14 doubles and 27 RBIs.
Wetzel was a sparkplug, batting .409 and scoring 49 runs with a .497 on-base percentage.
Ferrell batted .345, scoring 33 runs and totaling 16 stolen bases.
Wilson batted .386 with four homers and 28 RBIs, and was also tough on the mound with six wins, 80 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.00.
Nicholson was one of the area’s best effort guys. He batted .373 with five homers and 16 stolen bases.
Bembry excelled at the plate (.370 average) and on the mound (8-4 with a 2.74 ERA).
Arnold had one of the area’s highest batting averages (.425) and scored 35 runs.