By Paul Meadors
The honors continue to roll in for the best softball and baseball players the TRAC has to offer after Cal-Hi sports, considered the authority in all things California high school sports related, released their annual list of all-state teams.
Their archived list of baseball players dating back to 1990 is a virtual who’s who of major league talent of all-stars. Consider this partial list of names: Adam Jones, Cole Hamels, Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and notable Buchanan alumni Jason Donald and Justin Wilson. Oh, and a certain San Francisco 49ers quarterback you may have heard of—Colin Kaepernick—in 2006.
This year was as strong as any for the TRAC as nine baseball players and four softball players can call themselves members of the California all-state team for the rest of their lives. Headlining the 1st team baseball are the Clovis Roundup Boys’ Athlete of the Year Zach Ashford of Buchanan in the outfield and Clovis High’s Tevin Mitchell in the infield. Clovis softball catcher Cameryn Reichle represented the D-1 champion Cougars on the first team.
For Ashford, the speedy outfielder and lead off hitter, chalk another honor up for his impressive prep career which was capped off with a D-1 Valley championship in baseball. Always thankful and humble, his response was not surprisingly one of gratitude.
“There are some awesome players that got it, and to be recognized with them is very neat,” said Ashford who will lacing up the cleat for the Fresno State Bulldogs next season. “I have never thought in my dreams I would earn something like this, so when I got it I was very honored.”
Tevin Mitchell’s final game as a Clovis Cougar may not have ended like he had hoped (they lost to Buchanan in the championship) but his career was one of the best in the history of historic Clovis baseball, but making 1st team all-state caught him off-guard in more ways than one.
“I actually found out from a friend on Twitter,” said the surprised Mitchell. “Cal-Hi had posted it on Twitter and he tagged me in it to say congratulations so I got to the news that way.”
Mitchell continued: “To be recognized as one of the best players in the state is a great accomplishment but it wasn’t really a goal of mine. But putting it into perspective, it’s very exciting.”
Mitchell adds that his development from his first game as a wide-eyed sophomore against Bullard to winning a TRAC, Valley, and state title as a junior to receiving a baseball scholarship to UCSB his senior year is a huge blessing.
Other TRAC members of the Cal-Hi all-state team are:
Baseball 2nd team
Colton Eastman, SR Central pitcher, Connor Loeprich, SR Buchanan pitcher, Chandler Bengtson, SR Buchanan infielder, Jon Schafer, SR Clovis catcher
Baseball 3rd team
Preston Mott, SR Clovis pitcher, Ross Dodds, SR Buchanan infielder
Grant Gambrell, JR Buchanan pitcher/infielder, Matt Fraizer, JR Clovis North outfielder
Softball 1st team
Cameryn Reichle, SR Clovis catcher
Softball 3rd team
Cayla Broussard, SR Clovis infield
Gianna Mancha, SO Central pitcher, Katie January, JR Buchanan multipurpose