Strafford’s Nick Oliver, seen here against Buffalo in one of his strongest games of the season, was named second team all district and all conference for his pitching, also taking a first-team district nod as an infielder.

The Mail’s coverage area features many of the top athletes in southwest Missouri, as evidenced by the abundance of selections to all-conference and all-district teams made in the last two weeks.

In baseball, Marshfield and Rogersville had an unprecedented degree of competition in a Big 8 East Conference clogged with state-ranked squads. Even so, both were heavily represented in all-conference selections.

Firstly, Marshfield’s head coach William Pate was named coach of the year in his debut season. The Jays also featured a first-team pitcher in junior Austin Dobrick, while Rogersville received two first-team nods for senior outfielder A.J. Craft and senior infielder Reed Metz.

Marshfield senior Truett Garner was selected twice in the conference, as a second-team pitcher for his time on the mound and as an honorable mention infielder for his work on first base. Other second team selections for the Jays included junior Thomas McIllwain in the infield and junior Brooks Espy at catcher. The Wildcats, meanwhile, featured three second-team selections, Thomas Kane and Caleb Casanova as infielders and Austin Hall at pitcher, and one honorable mention, Caleb Ashley in the outfield.

The Rogersville boys were up against many of the same teams in Class 4 District 11, resulting in a crop of all-district selections similar to the conference honorees. Craft, Metz and Kane were named first team, while Casanova and Hall were named second team.

Marshfield, meanwhile, had five honorees in the district in which they were champions. All-conference selections Dobrick, Gardner, McIllwain and Espy were also selected for the all-Class 4, District 10 team, where they were joined by senior shortstop Parker Dinwiddie.

Among the Strafford baseball squad, six Indians’ athletes were selected for both the all Mid-Lakes Conference team and the all Class 3 District 11 team.

The all-conference selections include a trio of seniors and one junior in the first team. Seniors Wyatt Maples as a catcher, Dillon Hester as an outfielder and Tony Caldwell as a pitcher and infielder were joined by junior infielder Mason Foley in the top category of conference honorees. Foley also grabbed an honorable mention as a pitcher. Junior Nick Oliver was twice named for the second team for both pitching and infielding, while senior Dillon Turner came away with honorable mentions for both pitching and outfielding.

That same group of six received all-district honors, though their arrangement by degree was different. Hester, Caldwell and Foley each held the same spot on first team as they did in the conference, but Oliver also received a first-team nod for his work in the infield and Maples, who was up against a stronger field of catchers in the district, was bumped to honorable mention. Caldwell also fell to second team in the infield position, while Oliver held steady as a second-team pitcher. Turner climbed from his pitching and infielding honorable mentions in conference to the second team in those positions for the district selections.

Stay tuned for next week’s coverage of soccer and softball honors.

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