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All R-C Baseball team

WINDSOR – The fourth annual All-Roanoke-Chowan Baseball Team was announced at Bertie High School here last week.

Twelve young men were selected for the team’s annual honors. They were led by five first-time honorees.

Leading that group is the 2007 Player of the Year, Hertford County High School’s Heath Britt.

“Basically, Heath was our leader,” HCHS skipper Chris Towell said. “With him in our lineup and hitting .500, we needed his bat.

“He meant so much more than that on the mound and in the field,” Towell continued. “He gave us something extra when he was out there.”

Britt was named to the All-Northeastern Coastal Conference as a senior.

“I think being named Player of the Year is something Heath is very deserving of,” Towell said. “I thought he should have been Player of the Year in the conference.

“He definitely earned the honor,” Towell added. “He’s one of the best I’ve been around during my time at Hertford County.”

Britt was named to the All-Roanoke-Chowan Team as a junior.

The Best Offensive Player for 2007 is Jonathan Lee of Northampton County High School n East. Lee hit .634 on the season including two homeruns, three triples and 12 doubles.

He started at shortstop and pitched for the Rams in leading them inside the Tar-Roanoke Conference wars. In the process, he was named Tar-Roanoke Conference Player of the Year.

On the other side of the coin, Lawrence Academy’s Chad Whitehead was named Best Defensive Player. The Warriors’ starting catcher, Whitehead was amongst the best in the region behind the plate.

“Chad, I think, is probably the most complete player in the area,” Warriors’ skipper Robert Kravitz said. “To only be a freshman, he played like a senior.

“Chad works hard on the field and off,” he added. “He was an honor roll student too, which says a lot about his character.”

The Warriors’ also had the area’s Best Pitcher in senior Judd Whitehead.

During his final campaign with the Warriors, Whitehead was dominant on the mound, leading his team to their third straight state championship series appearance.

“Overall, Judd has been a solid performer for us,” Kravitz said. “He has definitely been the anchor of our pitching staff.

“He has been consistent his entire career,” he added. “You always knew what you would get out of him. He’ll be missed.”

This year, the Coach of the Year is a first-time honoree in Hertford County’s Chris Towell.

In three season’s at the helm of the Bears’ program, Towell has twice led the team to the state playoffs.

“The first thing I did today was congratulate Chris on being named Coach of the Year and on his season,” said Bertie Head Coach Randy Whitaker, a former Coach of the Year honoree. “They had an outstanding season and their hard work paid off.”

Whitaker said since he and Towell began coaching together with the American Legion team, they had become good friends and he had found they thought alot alike on the field.

Kravitz, a two-time honoree himself, said he had followed Towell’s season through the News-Herald.

“When you look at the season they had and the turnaround from last year, that shows good coaching,” Kravitz said. “Coach Towell did a good job this season and you can tell he’s a good coach.”

Only three players from the 2006 season return for the 2007 First Team. They are led by Britt and Whitehead.

Also returning is Michael Burton of Hertford County High School. Burton was chosen for the First Team for the second consecutive season.

Burton not only was solid in the field and on the mound in 2007, he was one of the Bears’ leaders offensively and helped guide his team to the playoffs.

Two others moved from the Second Team a year ago to make the First Team this season.

They include Ridgecroft School’s Josh Morris, who was one of the area’s best pitchers in 2007. He led his team to victory in several close games and threw a perfect game during the year.

Also moving from Second Team to first was Andre Lyles of Hertford County High School.

Lyles was solid for the Bears both offensively and defensively this pats season and helped in his team’s transition to one of the better clubs in the Northeastern Coastal Conference.

Both of Bertie High School’s First Team selections are new to the All-Roanoke-Chowan Team.

First baseman and pitcher Aaron Hoggard was one of the leaders for the Falcons all season. Hoggard hit over .400 for the season and had timely hits all year long.

Brent Bowen made the quick transition to one of the better players in the region in 2007. He has been selected to play in the East-West game because of his abilities.

Josh Freeman has the distinction of being the first Bethel Christian Academy player to ever make the First Team. During his junior season, Freeman led the Eagles both offensively and on the mound.

Jonathan Lee of East made the First Team in his first-ever selection to the squad after being named Best Offensive Player and Chad Whitehead of Lawrence did the same with his honor as Best Defensive Player.

Cole Vinson of Northeast Academy earned his first selection to the team as well. A pitcher, second baseman and outfielder for the Eagles, Vinson did just about everything he could for his team.

The final selection for the 2007 club is Evan Holton of Lawrence Academy. Holton was an All-State performer and was one of the better hitters in the region.

The 2007 Second Team Selections in baseball included Scott Hoggard of Bertie High School, Frank Feher of Bethel Christian Academy, Ryan Matthews and Jacob Dunlow of Hertford County High School, Lucas Taylor and Alex Britton of Northampton-East, Hunter Deloatch and Jay Duncan of Northeast and Dustin Baker and Bryan Britton of Ridgecroft School.

Honorable Mention honorees were Shannon Hoggard and J.A. Williford of Bethel Christian, Carson Hilliard of Northampton n East and Matthews Jones of Ridgecroft.

Notes…Heath Britt is not only the fourth different Player of the Year, but is from the fourth different school to win the honor. The 2004 Player of the Year was Corey Castelloe of Bertie, 2005 was Wes Ward of Ridgecroft and 2006 was Dusty Todd of Lawrence Academy…Judd Whitehead has won two of the four Best Pitcher Awards. He won the 2005 and 2007 honors. In 2004 Dexter Carter was recognized and in 2006 it was Lance Thomas…Bertie, Hertford County and Lawrence have placed at least two players on the First Team in each of the four seasons…Lawrence Academy has had the past two Best Defensive Players with Jacob Harrell winning the award in 2006…The Warriors are also the only program to have had a player win an award in all four seasons. It began with Chad Simmons as Best Defensive Player and Thomas Ward as Best Offensive Player in 2004. Dusty Todd was Best Offensive Player and Judd Whitehead Best Pitcher in 2005. Todd was Player of the Year and Harrell Best Defensive Player in 2006.