All-State Baseball/Softball Teams Selected; Sparkman’s Vanover Named Coach Of The Year
MADISON- “How humbled I am that the Alabama Sports Writers Association (ASWA) named me Class 7A Coach of the Year. What an honor,” said Sparkman High’s softball head coach Lindsay Vanover, of her enormous award bestowed upon her for her recent efforts during the 2023 season.
The 2023 All-State Baseball and Softball Teams were selected by the ASWA with each of the four local schools being represented on the selections of the elite players and coaches for the just completed scheduled season of play.
For the Lady Senators of Sparkman, a fantastic season with a 37-14 record ended with a third-place finish in the Class 7A State Tournament. Two senior players on the squad were named to the All-State Teams. Cassie Reasner, who signed with Kentucky for college, was named to the First-Team at infield, while pitcher Ella Boyd was chosen for Second-Team All-State.
As the team MVP, Reasner hit 14 homers, batted .497 with 59 RBIs and 32 stolen bases and accounted for seven doubles plays and was among the best in the state in numerous categories. Boyd was the team Defensive MVP and was tops in pitching with an 18-6 record and a 2.24 ERA. She had 11 shutouts, five no-hitters and tossed a perfect game versus Central of Florence. She posted 146 strikeouts against 578 at bats, is listed by Max Preps as the fourth best in the state and signed to play at Calhoun Community College in nearby Decatur.
“Both of those girls worked hard on perfecting their skills, as well as, putting an emphasis on the mental side of the game,” said Vanover. “Both were in the lineup on a daily basis and made a difference on how this team finished in the season. We know they will do amazing things for their next teams, but will forever be grateful for the legacies they left on this program.”
Designated Hitter Natalia Kenyatta, a junior, of Bob Jones was selected as Honorable Mention among Class 7A.
In Class 3A selections, Madison Academy freshman Cataryna Schreiber was listed as a First-Team pitcher to be the lone Lady Mustang to be highlighted by the ASWA.
“I hate we didn’t bring home a Blue Map Trophy from the State Tournament in Oxford, but I am pretty darn proud of our girls as we were undefeated in both Area 7 and 7A North Region,” said Vanover. “If it weren’t for our team playing together as one, we wouldn’t be able to celebrate some of these individual awards. ‘We Win Together’ was our team’s mantra. As for my award, these girls and my staff made this possible. Our staff got the most out of these girls because each of them knew we cared about them as people. Wins were a byproduct of their grit. What a special year. I give all the glory to God that I am able to minister to these student-athletes on a daily basis and get to call it coaching.”
The ASWA All-State baseball listings also includes star-studded athletes from each of the local schools. Leading the way is junior Braden Booth of Bob Jones who was selected as a First-Team infielder. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound third baseman from the Patriots had a .410 batting average, with seven homers, 57 hits, 10 doubles and 36 RBIs to go along with 20 stolen bases. He was a team leader in average, RBIs, homers, hits and doubles. As a pitcher, Booth, who is listed at No. 128 in the nation among the Class of 2024, had seven wins and 63 strikeouts within his 53 innings pitched. He has verbally committed to Mississippi State.
On the Class 7A Second-Team is infielder Jacob Haley, a senior from Sparkman and designated hitter Ty Marsh (5-11, 180, So.) of James Clemens. Honorable Mention selections included at catcher Colton Payton (6-3, 210, Sr.) from James Clemens who signed with Wallace State.
In Class 5A, infielder Carson Creehan (6-3, 195, Sr.) of Madison Academy was selected on the Second-Team All-State. He was the starting quarterback for Madison Academy’s football team and signed to play football at North Alabama. An Honorable Mention selection went to Madison Academy’s sophomore Tee Foster who was chosen as an infielder.