PORTSMOUTH — This season, the softball and baseballers — and tracksters — of the Ohio Valley Conference got to compete.
And, this season saw what the young Portsmouth Trojan teams had up and coming —and what they could do now.
With the release of the 2021 all-OVC squads on Wednesday, five Portsmouth players for softball and four Trojans for baseball were named to the all-conference units —along with Portsmouth freshman Charlie Putnam, who was the only Trojan to win an event at the annual OVC track and field meet.
Putnam, in fact, swept the boys long distance races of the 1,600m and 3,200m runs.
For the Lady Trojans, three ladies landed for first team on the softball list, while two Trojans did the same in baseball.
All eight of the OVC schools, in both baseball and softball, are automatically awarded with two Honorable Mention picks —under league rules.
There is no Player of the Year selected, but there is a Coach of the Year —and Ironton, which swept the league championships including the Lady Fighting Tigers for the second consecutive season, amassed those.
Ironton enjoyed an undefeated conference gauntlet two years ago, as the entire 2020 season was canceled because of the coronavirus threat.
Jim Dyer, Ironton’s first-year softball skipper, secured that COY — while Travis Wylie won it on the baseball side of the aisle.
Portsmouth, which was the runner-up to Ironton in softball at 11-3, handed the 13-1 Lady Tigers their only league loss —a 6-4 decision at Ironton in early April.
The Fighting Tigers took the baseball title at 12-2, as the Trojans ended up fifth at 6-8.
In softball, and trailing the Trojans were third-place Coal Grove (10-4), fourth-place Rock Hill (8-6), fifth-place Gallia Academy (7-7), sixth-place Fairland (5-9), and tied for seventh-place South Point (1-13) and Chesapeake (1-3).
In baseball, in between Ironton and Portsmouth was runner-up and 2019 OVC champion Fairland at 11-3 —as Gallia Academy and Rock Hill had identical 10-4 league marks.
Rounding out the back end of the standings were sixth-place Chesapeake at 3-11, seventh-place Coal Grove at 2-12, and eighth-place South Point at 1-13.
The softball Trojans, which sported just one senior, were led on the all-league list by a pair of repeaters —including junior shortstop Maddie Perry to the first team.
The other repeater was fellow junior Olivia Ramey — as she is now a two-time all-OVC Honorable Mention choice.
Joining Perry on the first team were junior Faith Phillips and freshman Olivia Dickerson, both pitchers, as Emily Cheatham joined Ramey on the Honorable Mention list.
The four first-team Fighting Tigers included Kirsten Williams, Bella Sorbilli, Graycie Brammer and Keegan Moore —as Moore was a repeater to the first team.
In fact, the top six squads had at least one first-team repeater —Perry for Portsmouth, Moore for Ironton, Addi Dillow for Coal Grove, Kylee Howard for Rock Hill, Bailey Young for Gallia Academy and Emily Bowen for Fairland.
Joining Dillow for the Hornets on the first team were Rylee Harmon and Kayleigh Murphy, as the senior Dillow was an Honorable Mention choice three years ago and Murphy made Honorable Mention two years back.
Howard was Honorable Mention in 2018, as fellow Rock Hill senior and first-teamer Makenzie Hanshaw was a two-time Honorable Mention pick (2018 and 2019).
Other first-teamers include Taylor Mathie of Gallia Academy, Kaylee Salyer of Fairland, Erika Bowman of Chesapeake and Kodee Langdon of South Point.
Joining Ramey and Cheatham on the Honorable Mention list were Kiandra Martin and Jada Rogers of Ironton, Jaidyn Griffiths and Katie Deeds of Coal Grove, Aleigha Matney and Abigail Morrison of Rock Hill, Jenna Harrison and Maddi Meadows of Gallia Academy, Katie Pruitt and Brenna Reedy of Fairland, Megan Epperly and Maddy Evans of South Point, and Riley Isaacs and Sidney Fuller of Chesapeake.
Only Ramey and Coal Grove’s Griffith were Honorable Mention selections this year which were also HM honorees in 2019.
For the baseball Trojans, junior Daewin Spence and sophomore Tyler Duncan were their two first-time first-teamers —as junior Drew Roe and senior Zach Ward were first-time Honorable Mention choices.
The four first-team Fighting Tigers included Jon Wylie, Trevor Kleinman, Cole Freeman and Cameron Deere —as Deere was a repeater to the first team.
Other repeat first-teamers were Fairland’s Gavin Hunt and Chesapeake’s Thomas Sentz, as the senior Hunt —an Honorable Mention pick three years ago —is the only three-time all-league selection on this year’s list.
Four first-teamers this season —Alex Rogers of Fairland, Zane Loveday of Gallia Academy, Travis Grimm of Chesapeake and Tait Matney of Coal Grove — were all Honorable Mention two years back.
The other first-team selections included Dacoda Chapman for Fairland, Trent Johnson and Cole Hines for Gallia Academy, Tyler Brammer, Hayden Harper and Nick Vankeuren for Rock Hill and Levi Lawson for South Point.
Joining Ward and Roe on the Honorable Mention list were Kyle Howell and Jake Sloan of Ironton, Tyler Sammons and Blake Trevathan of Fairland, Grant Bryan and Colton Roe of Gallia Academy, Brayden Friend and Isaiah Kelly of Rock Hill, Jacob Daniels and Isaiah Walsh of Chesapeake, Hunter McCallister and Zac Cline of South Point, and Conner Harrison and Xander Keaton of Coal Grove.
Only Howell of Ironton from that group was repeat Honorable Mention from 2019.
All of the OVC awards are chosen by and voted upon by the league’s coaches.
With the cancellation of last season, the 2020 seniors were honored as the all-OVC teams.
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @BoggsSports © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved