4 Colonels make Region 7-AAAA all-star team
by David Royal
Jun 01, 2013 | 814 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Four Cass High Colonels have been named to the 7-AAAA all-region baseball team.

The four are infielder Sam Ayers, outfielder Brandon Etheridge, catcher Chaz Wilson and pitcher Dylan Williams.

Outfielder Chris Morton was selected as Honorable Mention.

Head coach Adam Williams said all four Colonels are talented individuals who are valuable team players, too.

“I think their selection speaks to our success this season and to their work in the offseason,” coach Williams said. “They play summer ball. We also start working out with them in September.

“We do a lot of things where they can get strong and healthy and have a chance to succeed.”

He said the Colonels are among the region’s best. “I think we had four kids that really deserved to be selected. It speaks of what our team did this year. We were able to win because we had good players.”

Williams said winning the subregion also helped “bring notoriety to our players and our program.”

The Colonels (18-12, 8-4) had a very successful year, appearing in the playoffs for the first time since 2009. They swept Columbia, 4-2, and 5-1, out of the first round of the state playoffs before falling to Troup County, 6-0, 5-4. Troup later lost to Redan, the eventual state AAAA champion.

Coach Williams described Ayers as “a tough hardnosed shortstop. He was our field general on the field and made a lot of defensive calls for us to keep their runners on second. He helped us with our bunt coverages, too, and there were no automatic steals with him in the game.

“At the plate, he was very clutch for us all season.”

Ayers collected 32 hits for Cass, including 10 doubles, one home run and 21 singles. He drove in 21 RBIs and scored 26 runs while accumulating a .337 batting average.

The coach said Etheridge was a defensive force for Cass.

“He was a tremendous centerfielder. Whenever a fly ball was hit to centerfield, we felt Brandon had a chance to catch it — he covered that much ground. Nobody tested him [his throwing arm] all year.”

Williams noted Etheridge also was a big part of the Colonels’ offensive engine.

“He was our leadoff man and the catalyst for our offense. He was the kind of guy who got things going for us. If Brandon got on base, we were going to have a good day.

Etheridge tallied 35 hits for the cause, with six doubles, two triples, a home run and 26 singles. He scored a team high 33 runs while driving in 17 RBIs. He earned a .376 batting average.

Williams described Wilson as “probably the quiet team leader. He came to play for Cass High every day. We would not have had the season we had if he had not had the season he had at the plate.”

The coach said Wilson’s contribution to the team also included how well he handled Colonel pitchers Dylan Williams and Etheridge.

“Anytime you handle two kids who throw upwards of 88 mph, you’ve done a good job,” Williams said. “He did a great job with our pitching staff.”

Wilson led the team with 42 hits, pounded out 10 doubles, two home runs, two triples and 28 singles. He drove in 32 RBIs, scored nine runs and batted .429, highest on the team.

Adam Williams said Dylan Williams gave Cass a chance to win every outing.

“He is as good as you get on mound,” the coach said. “We felt comfortable every time he got a start that we were going to win the ball game.

“Also, at the plate he batted cleanup for us and had several big hits throughout the year.”

Williams racked up 30 hits for Cass, including 10 doubles, two home runs, two triples and 21 singles. He drove in 20 RBIs, scored 10 runs and batted .319.

He won seven games against two losses for the Colonels, with a paltry 1.14 ERA. He gave up 22 runs, 10 of them earned, on the season and struck out 106 batters while allowing 31 hits in 61 1/3 innings of work.