All-county baseball


Chase Payne, Appalachian junior, is Blount County MVP. -School Sports Photography

Chase Payne, Appalachian junior, is Blount County MVP. -School Sports Photography

Coaches from Blount County Schools announced the 2021 All-County Varsity Baseball team. Appalachian’s Chase Payne and Hayden’s Lucas Drake took top honors.

Payne, a junior, was selected by the coaches as Blount County MVP. He helped lead the Eagles to a 14-8 record pitching a total of 60 innings while striking out 149 of the batters he faced. Payne finished the season with a .611 batting batting average, 25 RBIs, and three home runs.

Coach of the Year honors went to Drake. After starting the season 4-8, the Wildcats won 15 of their next 20 games. Hayden finished the season with a record of 19-13. The Wildcats made the third round of the playoffs for the first time in 27 years. Out of 64 5A teams, the Wildcats were one of the last remaining. Drake earned his 1,000th win in the Wildcats’ first playoff game at Leeds. They went on to win game two to advance to the second round. After falling to Sardis in game one of round two, Hayden won the next two to win the series and move on to round three.

Coach of the year Lucas Drake (center) sports a blond wig in support of players who died their own locks for the state playoffs. -Lena Simmons

Coach of the year Lucas Drake (center) sports a blond wig in support of players who died their own locks for the state playoffs. -Lena Simmons

The following players were selected for the 2021 Blount County All-County Team:

Appalachian
Bryson Seawright, Garrett Helms

Cleveland
Cade Wilson, Adrian Zavala

Hayden
Cole Loftis, Braden Hodges, Carson Snow, Sammy
Collins, Caden Mason

Locust Fork
Lukas Huber, Gavin Payne

J.B. Pennington
Zack Timmerman, Isaac Murphree, Mathew Smith

Southeastern
Trent Carpenter, Brody Dobbins, Kevin Juhola

Susan Moore
Camden Lackey, Jayce Hutchens

County MVP: Chase Payne – Appalachian

Coach of the Year: Lucas Drake – Hayden