Yelverton earns WAW Player of the Year, Gluschick wins Coach of the Year

4-22-2016 - Demopolis, Ala. - Luke Yelverton pins the ball on a putout against Alabama Christian Academy.

4-22-2016 – Demopolis, Ala. – Luke Yelverton pins the ball on a putout against Alabama Christian Academy.

In a season full of stellar individual and team performances, The West Alabama Watchman 2016 Player of the Year Award came down to intangibles. In the case of Luke Yelverton, those intangibles helped propel the Tigers to the third round of the state playoffs for the first time in 11 years.

Known more for his arm than his bat, the Spring Hill signee morphed into an absolute offensive monster during the Demopolis playoff run.

Over the three series, Yelverton went 10 for 17 at the plate with three doubles, five RBIs and five walks. More notably, his best consistently came in Demopolis’s biggest moments as he always seemed to get the hit to start a big rally or drive in a run at the most opportune time.

Even still, his biggest contributions may have come in the dugout, where his infectious personality and unique brand of leadership continuously motivated teammates and proved indispensable for a squad that was dependent upon younger players without playoff experience in a number of key spots.

Yelverton finished the year with a .364 batting average to go along with 20 RBIs while mixing in a homer, six triples and a double in only 66 at-bats during a rain-plagued Demopolis campaign that consisted of only 28 games.

The Demopolis senior was nothing short of dominant on the mound in 2016, striking out 55 batters in 49 and two-thirds innings of work. He scattered 40 hits and 14 earned runs to the tune of a 1.97 ERA.

Taking home Coach of the Year honors is John Gluschick of Sweet Water High School. The Bulldogs finished 22-11 this season, tallying their most wins since 1990 before exiting in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs at the hands of the very same Mobile Christian squad closing in on a state championship. Gluschick led his team through a hefty scheduled that featured a number of big boy programs like The Randolph School and Trinity. And perhaps the most impressive part of the whole thing for Sweet Water is that all of that success may have come a year early, since the Bulldog roster boasts a number of underclassmen.

The 2016 West Alabama Watchman All-County Baseball Team is:

C – Weldon Aydelott, Marengo Academy

1B – Jacob Rodrigues, Demopolis

2B – Robert Tutt, Marengo Academy

3B – Wynn Thompson, Sweet Water

SS – Hunter Colyar, Demopolis

OF – Shamar Lewis, Sweet Water

OF – Will Huckabee, Sweet Water

OF – Daniel Pritchett, Marengo Academy

OF – Andrew Martin, Marengo Academy

P – Jonah Smith, Sweet Water

P – Luke Yelverton, Demopolis

P – Adam Sellers, Marengo Academy

P – David Dunn, Marengo Academy

DH – Caleb Broadhead, Marengo Academy

DH – Chandler Barton, Demopolis

UTIL – Branson Davis, Sweet Water

UTIL – R.J. Cox, Demopolis

UTIL – Hayden Huckabee, Marengo Academy