CEDAR RAPIDS — You think Bret Hoyer is going to miss these guys?
The Cedar Rapids Kennedy baseball coach had 12 seniors on his team this season who were responsible for a lot of victories in their varsity careers. Many of them are being honored today by the Iowa Newspaper Association.
Four Cougars have been named to INA postseason all-state teams in Class 4A, including first-team selections Alex Hayden (pitcher) and Cody Bell (first base). Outfielder Josh Jahlas is a second-team pick and pitcher Nick Appleget a third-teamer.
Kennedy lost in the state tournament semifinals last Friday night to Fort Dodge.
“They’ve had a hell of a run,” Hoyer said. “Their efforts on a day-to-day basis were phenomenal. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to coach them. It’s been a lot of fun, a great ride. I’m very proud of them.”
Hayden finished 11-2 with a 0.99 earned run average, including a win in the state tournament quarterfinals over Linn-Mar. Bell led Kennedy in hitting (.460 going into the state tournament) and RBIs.
Also on the 4A first team is Cedar Rapids Prairie outfielder Jason Velvick, who finished his senior season with a .439 average and outstanding walk-strikeout ratio of 39-14. Teammate Brennan Hammer is a second-team pick as a utility player.
First-team selections in Class 3A include Benton Community catcher Jake Stenberg and infielder Mitch Moser, Waukon first baseman Blaine Snitker, Western Dubuque outfielder Ryan Lehmann and Jake Redlinger of Washington (utility). Snitker led 3A in hitting (.526) and Stenberg led the class in RBIs (62).
Marion’s Trev Biery is a second-team first baseman.
In Class 2A, state champion Dyersville Beckman has three players on the first team and another on the second. The first teamers are senior catcher Lucas Jacque, infielder Nate Steger and outfielder Robbie Anstoetter.
Steger was Beckman’s leading hitter and RBI guy and was a stalwart on the mound at the state tourney, picking up a win and save. Anstoetter had four hits in the title game against North Polk, three for extra bases.
Other first-team selections in 2A were North Fayette outfielder Jake Greco and Maquoketa Valley infielder Kyle Whitman. Greco became Iowa’s all-time career hits leader late in the season.
State tournament qualifiers Lisbon and West Branch have 1A all-staters in senior pitcher Marshall Morgan and junior outfielder Bo Bower. Morgan led the state in victories (15) and innings (108 2/3 innings). Bower hit .441 with 10 home runs.
The senior captains per class are West Des Moines Dowling outfielder Zach Coppola (4A), Dallas Center-Grimes pitcher Tyler Peyton (3A), Davis County pitcher Calvin Matthews (2A) and Algona Garrigan pitcher Austin Vaske (1A). Matthews is an Iowa Hawkeye recruit.
Here are all of the teams: