Tyler Mewhort, now graduated from LHHS, was named District 8-3A First Team pitcher, joining junior teammates Blake Thompson and Ryan Fickel on the 8-3A first team (Thunderstruckphotos.com File Photo)
While it’s been about two weeks since the high school baseball season ended, word has just filtered out last week concerning the District 8-3A awards.
When the awards were revealed, Liberty Hill High School coach Mike Kristan and his Panthers learned they put three players – senior pitcher Tyler Mewhort and juniors Ryan Fickel (third base) and Blake Thompson (utility) – on the 8-3A first team.
LHHS players who found their names on the second-team list included junior catcher Jake Sadler, sophomore third baseman T.J. Hillman and sophomore outfielder Kyle Hester.
Andrew Johns was Honorable Mention as an outfielder and earning Academic All-District honors were Taylor Fullmer and Kolby Keith.
“It’s like all my hard work the time I’ve been playing baseball paid off,” stated Mewhort, now an LHHS graduate who’s headed to Concordia Lutheran University of Austin. “It’s another reward I can add to my resume. I’m very happy about it.”
Ryan Fickel played both 3B and SS for the Panthers this season (Thunderstruckphotos.com File Photo)
Mewhort, who was the unquestioned ace of the 2010 Liberty Hill staff, learned how to handle the pressure of being “the man on the mound” from his junior-year mound mates.
“It goes back to last year with the seniors (Gene Lucas, Cade Moore and Kyle Steinbach),” Mewhort stated. “I had to follow them and live in their footsteps last season.
“I learned and believe there’s no ‘I’ in team; I tried my best and did the best I could for the team effort. We obviously had other people step up for us to make this a successful team.”
Blake Thompson (facing camera) celebrates a home run during the 2010 season. Thompson led the Panthers in homers and RBI in '10 (Thunderstruckphotos.com Photo)
“It’s a great honor, to be awarded and recognized in district; that is a nice honor,” stated Fickel, who played third base and shortstop for the Panthers this past season.
“My brother (former LHHS catcher Braden) was first-team all-district so it’s nice to have my name up there with him.”
Referring to 8-3A champ Burnet and runner-up Llano, Fickel stated, “We didn’t do that great against Llano and Burnet; they beat us pretty well. I didn’t do too well against them but did well overall – I think a few people didn’t expect us to do well overall because of how good those two teams were.”
“They were definitely the teams to beat in our district,” declared Thompson, who also played quarterback for the LHHS football team. “I was happy to help out our efforts this season – after all, we did make the playoffs.”
Both Fickel and Thompson expect better things for next year’s version of the Panthers.
“We have six players named to the first two teams of all-district and five of those players (Thompson, Fickel, Hillman, Sadler and Hester) are coming back,” Thompson said. “The team is looking forward to next season and what we can do. In fact, we expect to be better next season.”
“We have guys coming back who have a lot more experience,” Fickel remarked. “We expect to go farther in playoffs and win more games.”
Mewhort offered his support for the 2011 Panthers. “I want to wish Coach Kristan and the whole team the best of luck next season,” stated the son of Laura Collins, owner of Rising Star Pet Ranch in Liberty Hill.