ANAMOSA - There’s no doubting the needle is pointing upwards for the Anamosa baseball program following another improved campaign in 2020.
While the young Raider team experienced their fair share of ups and down during the shortened COVID campaign, the positive signs were brighter than the down sides were dark during a 4-8 campaign.
“I like where this program is headed,” said Anamosa baseball coach Bryan McCray. “And everyone is on-board, too. This is going to get really fun the next couple of years. These guys have paid their dues and now it’s their turn to start winning some of these close games that we’ve been losing the last few years. Getting over that hump takes experience, learning how to win games, and these guys have done what they’ve needed to do to get over that hump.”
River Valley Conference coaches have been paying attention too, naming sophomores Grahm Humpal (catcher) and Sam Wilt (utility) as well as junior Trae Klatt (outfield) to All-North division teams. Senior Wyatt Bickford was named an honorable mention selection.
Klatt had a big year leading Anamosa with his .344 batting average while also scoring a team-high 11 runs to go with nine RBIs and four doubles.
Humpal was not only solid at the plate, hitting .312 this past season, but he also provided the team with sensational play from behind the plate handling the Raiders’ catching duties most of the summer.
Humpal also provided some speed on the base paths as well coming through with seven stolen bases on the season, good enough to finish in a tie for second on the team.
Wilt drilled baseballs at a .258 clip this past season at the plate, but also proved extremely valuable on the mound where he worked 16.2 innings posting a solid 3.78 eared run average leading the staff with an impressive 36 strikeouts.
Bickford, Anamosa’s lone senior starter this past season, hit .243 with seven stolen bases while giving the Raiders solid defensive play from his second base position.
Joining the Raider threesome on the All-River Valley Conference North division team were: pitchers- Eli Green (Cascade), Dylan Roher (Monticello), Cole Swartz (Bellevue) and Brayden Lodge (Camanche); infielders- Kaleb Topping (Cascade), Caleb Delzell (Camanche), Caleb Sauser (Monticello) and Ted Weber (Cascade); catcher- Humpal and Mason Byrns (Camanche); utility- Wilt, Caden Reinke (Cascade) and Connor Lambert (Monticello); outfielders- Klatt, Tucker Dickherber (Camanche), Tanner Simon (Cascade) And Tyler Jackson (North Liberty).
Camanche’s Darryl Cochran was named North division Coach of the Year.
Earning honorable mention status with Bickford were: Preston Ries (Monticello), Caleb Gruhn (Northeast), Tadan Lange (North Cedar), Paxton Felderman (Bellevue), Cade Everson (Camanche), Jack Carr (Cascade), Will Esmoil (West Liberty), Karson Willey (Wilton), Alec Wick (Iowa City Regina), Matt Whaley (West Branch), Nile Schuett (Tipton), Nolan DeLong (Durant) and Will Cavanagh (Mid-Prairie).
Earning All-River Valley Conference Elite team honors were: pitchers- Brad Tornow (Mid-Prairie), Mason McManus (Camanche), Nate Dierickx (Durant) and Chase Becker (Iowa City Regina); catchers- Logan Callison (Durant) and Pete Espensen (West Branch); infielders- Aidan Rath (Mid-Prairie), Andrew Shwartz (Bellevue), Eliezer DeLaSantos (Iowa City Regina) and Trent Pelzer (Tipton); outfielders- Monte Slabaugh (Mid-Prairie), Keagan Head (Durant), Carter Green (Cascade) and Jackson Wagner (Bellevue); utility- Caleb Wulf (West Liberty), Ethan Sahr (North Cedar) and Jackson Hull (Wilton).
Earning a spot on the All-South division team were: pitchers- Ben Orr (Durant), Matt Paulsen (West Branch), Trey Eagle (West Branch) and Keegan Gingerich (Mid-Prairie); catchers- Pat Barszczewski (Wilton) and Vinny Bowlin (Mid-Prairie); infielders- Karson Grout (Mid-Prairie), Drew DeLong (Durant), Cael Fiderlein (West Branch) and Alex Meister (Iowa City Regina); outfielders- Chris Miller (Mid-Prairie), Talen Dengler (West Liberty), Lake Newton (West Liberty) and Brad Hunger (West Branch); utility- Kayden Reinier (Mid-Prairie), Cole Syring (Tipton) and Levi Quinlan (Iowa City Regina).
Mid-Prairie’s Andrew Greiner, who guided the Golden Hawks to the class 2A state tournament, was named South division Coach of the Year.