The Peaster Greyhounds graduated nine at the end of the 2018 season (a campaign which ended in a Class 3A regional finalist finish), losing a substantial amount of varsity experience in the process.
At the same time, the high graduation rate saw an influx of young talent take over the Greyhounds’ roster ahead of the 2019 season.
The team’s young core got a crash course in varsity high school baseball, with the Greyhounds ultimately missing the playoffs.
However, that did not stop eight Peaster players from taking home District 7-3A honors, including two first-team selections, three second-team selections and three honorable mentions.
Junior Caden Farmer took home first-team infield honors, while finishing with a district batting average of .321.
“Caden came on as district went by and really did a solid job for us at shortstop,” Greyhounds’ Head Coach Lynn Grimes said.
Also making first-team in district awards was sophomore Joseph Grimes, who was recognized as a pitcher.
Grimes finished with a 2.33 ERA in district play, while batting .500 to go along with 26 RBIs.
Junior Garrett Hardin was also recognized for his work on the mound, earning second-team pitcher honors.
Hardin finished with an ERA of 2.91.
Coach Grimes said having both of the abovementioned arms back in the lineup next season will give the team a definite boost.
“Joseph gave us a chance to win each week,” Coach Grimes said.
“Garrett really came on in the second half of district and really pitched well [also]. It’s exciting to have both back next year on the mound.”
Seniors Braden Hardin and Cade Adams each took home second-team honors as well, with the former being recognized for his work in the outfield, while the latter was named a second-team first baseman.
Grimes said [Braden] Hardin’s work ethic throughout the year was exceptional, while adding that Adam’s past varsity experience helped anchor the relatively young team.
“Braden played left field,” Coach Grimes said.
“He was a kid I was really proud of, he just worked so hard and he ended up having a solid year for us. He caught all the catchable balls that were hit at him.
“Cade’s a tall kid, had a good glove over there at first base. He was one of our few that had some [previous] varsity experience. He anchored us over there at first.”
Honorable mentions for Peaster included junior Colby Wooster, junior Ty Seay and sophomore Carter McCullogh.
While 2019 proved a struggle at times, Coach Grimes said having such a young core can be a definite boon for the program moving forward into next season now that his players have acquired more experience at the varsity level.
We only graduated two, so the majority of these guys [will be] back,” Coach Grimes said.
“They got better as the year went by. I say that for our whole team. We graduated nine the year before, so it was a real learning year as far as experience-wise at the varsity level. I was proud of all of them. They worked hard all year.”