Two from Atascocita selected in MLB draft
The list of Atascocita baseball players drafted continues to grow.
Pitcher Matt Willrodt and shortstop Alerick Soularie heard their names called in this year’s MLB First-Year Player Draft last week, giving the high school seven selections in the last nine years.
Clay Schrader was their first draft pick in 2010, Daniel Stumpf went in 2012, Jonathan Dziedzic in 2013, Travis Jones - still the only one taken out of high school - in 2014, and Logan Boyd in 2015.
“We’ve been fortunate,” coach Eric Matthews said.
The Seattle Mariners selected Willrodt out of Cisco College in the 15th round with the 448th overall pick.
He went 6-0 with a 3.82 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 66 innings as a sophomore.
“He had a pretty good feeling he had a chance to be drafted somewhere between the 10th and 15th, and he went in the 15th, so that was great,” Matthews said.
Matthews said the Mariners could offer a six-figure signing bonus.
But he’s also committed to Texas State, so he and his family have a big decision looming.
“Any time an organization throws $100,000 at you, that’s a pretty big opportunity,” Matthews said.
“And if he bargains and gets school paid for, then that sweetens the pot a little bit.”
Either way, Matthews expects him to excel.
“He’s a special young man,” Matthews said.
“He fits the bill. He’s 6-4, 215, somewhere in there, and he looks the part. He was sitting somewhere between 89 and 92 (mph), and touching 95, and he has control with multiple pitches. He’s got an opportunity.”
Soularie was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in Round 29, 873rd overall.
He hit .402 with 47 RBIs, 10 home runs and 23 stolen bases as a sophomore at San Jacinto College.
“He’s got an opportunity to go to Tennessee right now,” Matthew said. “That’s where he’s committed, and I don’t know if he’ll go to Tennessee or if they’ll be able to give him enough money to convince him to go play pro ball. But either way he goes right now he’s got two good options, too.”
As a position player, instead of a pitcher, Matthews said he may be more likely to stay in college.
The 11th-year coach also said he had a good idea both players eventually would be drafted.
So who’s next?
Matthews wouldn’t name names, saying he didn’t want to put that pressure on them, but he has a good idea.
The best place to look for now is the all-District 21-6A list.
Tristan Karels, who inked with Northern Oklahoma College, earned first-team DH, junior Clay Bradford was named a first-team utility and pitcher, and pitcher Caleb Cannon, third baseman David Taylor, and outfielders Payton Harden (McNeese State) and Dre Nelson rounded out their first-team picks.
The Eagles also are sending Julian Rojas to Cisco.
“We’ve got some good athletes,” Matthews said.
“But we are dealing with athletes who are 15 to 18 years old, and so what they’re going to become in three, four or five years, as they get to be 19, 20 or 21, is not the same athlete they are now.”
Matthews praises softball team
The Eagles still are hoping to become state champions, and now they have a role model in their own building.
Their softball counterparts claimed the school’s first 6A team title two weeks ago.
“I’m super excited for Coach (Ashley) Boyd and her group,” Matthews said. “They did a fantastic thing.”
It’s an accomplishment that raises the bar for everyone at an already successful school.
Atascocita sent its baseball team to the state tournament in 2014, it’s boys basketball team made the state tournament in 2016, and the Eagles’ football team played in the state semifinals last year.
“To have a first state championship in a team sport is really cool, and the boys will continue to grind,” Matthews said. “Football’s very good, basketball is as well, and we’re trying to fit somewhere in that mix.”
Bulldogs send two to Bayou Bowl
The Summer Creek Bulldogs led the area’s schools with two representatives, Jalan Mayes and Kevon Kenebrew, selected to play in the 16th Bayou Bowl on Saturday night at Stallworth Stadium.
Mayes was a first-team all-district defensive back as a senior, and Kenebrew was a second-team offensive lineman.
They landed on the East team, along with Humble receiver Andrew Tisdale, Kingwood Park OL Chris Merritt and Crosby defensive lineman Danny Guajardo, along with other big names like Clear Creek’s Sam Matthews, Barbers Hill’s Cameron Cauthen and Pasadena Memorial’s Alex Williams.
The West roster included Travis quarterback Amryn Jeffery.
CHRISTUS sets all-star rosters
The Southeast Texas Coaches Association recently selected the coaches and teams for the CHRISTUS All-Star Classic, which is in its seventh year, and third with Southeast Texas Sports Medicine as sponsor.
The all-star softball game is set for 5 p.m. Thursday, June 14, at Crosby.
The all-star volleyball contest, and the boys and girls basketball games, are scheduled for Friday, June 15, at East Chambers, and the football showcase kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at East Chambers.
In addition, the annual golf tournament, which helps raise scholarship money for senior all-stars, tees off at 9 a.m. Friday, June 15, on the Henry Homberg Municipal Golf Course at Tyrrel Park in Beaumont.
Last year, SETCA awarded 20 scholarships.
For team and sponsorship opportunities, contact tourney director Ricardo Serna at (409) 729-7644, ext. 274, or email@example.com.
Jason McDaniel is a freelance writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.