SHINER -- Zach Reese was a force at the plate in more ways than one.
Shiner pitcher/catcher Zach Reese was named the Most Valuable Player of District 28-A. photo by Jason Chlapek
On offense, the Shiner senior hit efficiently from his No. 3 spot in the lineup. On defense, he either backed up the plate as catcher or threw balls over the plate from the pitcherís mound.
Reeseís efforts did not go unnoticed by his teammates, coaches or opposing teamís coaches. He was recently selected as the Most Valuable Player out of District 28-A, which was voted on by coaches throughout the district -- Shiner, Flatonia, Ganado, Louise, Moulton and Yorktown.
Reese played a pivotal role during the Comanchesí 23-9 campaign, which included a 10-0 run through 28-A competition and a trip to the region semifinal round. He started nine games on the pitcherís mound -- winning seven of those -- and started the other 23 behind the plate at catcher.
Reese wasnít the only Shiner player to earn a superlative honor. Junior shortstop Brady Cejka earned the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Defense is a way of life for Cejka, who also is the starting free safety on the Shiner football team. The junior turned several double plays and was notorious for making bare-handed catch-and-throws throughout the year.
In addition to Cejka and Reese, six different Comanches earned first-team accolades. Seniors Blaine Caka, Jake Jalufka, Donovan Mardis, Matt Pohler, Ky Sandelovic and sophomore Jacob Stafford were the first teamers for Shiner.
Caka and Pohler were first-team infielders as they started at second and first base, respectively, Jalufka was a first-team outfielder, Mardis a first-team utility player, and Sandelovic and Stafford were first-team pitchers. Mardis was a designated hitter and left fielder, while Sandelovic played third base when he didnít pitch, and Stafford was a right fielder when he wasnít on the mound.
Two Comanches also were named to the second team. They were junior infielder Austin Esse and senior outfielder Nick Nevlud.