A total of 15 individuals from the Ohio Valley Publishing area — including half of them from the three smallest schools — have earned all-Southeast District baseball honors, which were announced on Wednesday.
Last season, exactly a dozen players represented OVP.
The Eastern Eagles, which played in this week’s Division IV regional tournament at Springfield, earned a third of the 15 spots — with four of them being players as veteran head coach Brian Bowen was named the North (Division IV) Coach of the Year.
Bowen guided the Eagles to a 14-9 regular season — his 16th as Eastern’s skipper.
Cameron Richmond, repeating to the all-district list after making second team last season, was Eastern’s only first-team selection this year.
Richmond, a senior, pitched and played shortstop.
Austin Coleman — a sophomore catcher and pitcher — captured second-team honors, while fellow sophomore Ethen Richmond (2B/P) and senior third baseman Jesse Morris made Honorable Mention.
Southern secured two Division IV (North) spots — sophomore second baseman and shortstop Dylan Smith on first team and junior first baseman and pitcher Trey Pickens on the second squad.
Pickens repeated to the second team as well.
South Gallia garnered one Honorable Mention pick — senior shortstop and ace pitcher Cuyler Mills.
For the Division II South team, three players from the Meigs Marauders and two from the Gallia Academy Blue Devils made the list.
Four of the five repeated, as Meigs senior Kaileb Sheets — who caught and pitched — earned Honorable Mention this year, after playing for West Virginia Class A state champion Wahama last spring.
The Marauders, which went 21-7 and advanced to the Division II district semifinals, were represented by juniors Chase Whitlatch on the first team and Cody Bartrum on the second.
Both Whitlatch and Bartrum repeated to those levels, as Whitlatch was a pitcher and infielder and Bartrum a catcher and pitcher.
Meigs, along with Wellston and Alexander, shared the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division championship for the second consecutive season.
The Blue Devils, meanwhile, won the Ohio Valley Conference title in their first season of competition in that league.
Two seniors earned all-district awards, with catcher and first baseman Anthony Sipple repeating to the first team — and outfielder Kole Carter repeating to the second team.
Waverly’s Jeff Noble and Athens’ Chris Stewart, who shared the Division II South Coach of the Year, saw their clubs square off in the regional semifinals on Thursday.
In the Division III South, River Valley had two honorees — senior second-teamer Dillon Ragan and junior Honorable Mention pick Austin Ragan.
Dillon Ragan repeated as all-district, moving up from Honorable Mention of a year ago.
Michael Estep of Wheelersburg was the Coach of the Year.
The Division IV South COY was Andrew Mader of Portsmouth Notre Dame, while Doug Fisher of Sheridan in Division II and Brent Daniels of Minford in Division III joined Bowen on the North side.
The all-Southeast District baseball selections and subsequent coaching honors are chosen by the Southeast District Baseball Coaches Association.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106