All-region honors for local players

Published 10:44 am Wednesday, May 22, 2019


Daily News

He was a base runner’s worst enemy.

Trent Bailey’s value to the LaGrange High baseball team was felt in a bunch of different areas.

The senior catcher was one of the Grangers’ top hitters who came through with a handful of game-winning hits, and he also worked well with a pitching staff that was a strength of the team.

Bailey also basically put the stop to any semblance of a running game the opposing team hoped to establish.

That ability to throw out potential base stealers and pick runners off saved a bunch of runs during the season, and it’s a main reason why he was selected as the Region 5-AAAA defensive player of the year.

Bailey was one of four LaGrange players who made the all-region team, while Troup has seven representatives on the team.

Donnie Branch, LaGrange’s head coach, was happy to see Bailey’s stellar work recognized by the coaches in the region who selected the all-region team.

“The biggest deal is, the coaches in the region realized it,” Branch said. “I know it, but I was glad that somebody else knew it, too. There was no doubt he deserved it. I can’t get him on the all-region team. The other coaches have to do that. They determine that. They did a good job of recognizing how good he was.”

With Bailey’s strong arm and quick release, no base runner was ever safe.

“He picked off six or seven, not throwing them out, but picking them off,” Branch said. “And we just didn’t have people run on us.”

Bailey has signed with Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville.

LaGrange’s other all-region players will all return next season.

Among those players is junior Charles Crawford, who was selected as a utility player on the first team.

Crawford was primarily a third baseman, although he also played a few games in center field following an injury to Brant Williams.

Crawford was also one of LaGrange’s top pitchers, and he was on the mound for the team’s biggest win of the season.

In game three of an opening-round playoff series against Stephens County, Crawford threw a seven-inning complete game in a 5-3 victory.

Matthew Morgan, who enjoyed a breakout sophomore season as a starting pitcher, made the first team as well.

“He threw zero innings as a freshman, so this was his first year as a varsity pitcher, and he made first-team all-region,” Morgan said.

Another one of LaGrange’s pitchers, Jake Cardwell, made the second team.

Troup, which finished second in the region before falling to St. Pius X in the first round of the state playoffs, is well-represented on the all-region team.

Making the all-region team is nothing new for senior Colby Williams, who has been one of the state’s most effective pitchers for three seasons.

After an exceptional senior season, Williams was selected as a first-team all-region player.

Williams has been at his best against some of Troup’s toughest opponents over the years, and this season was no exception.

Against IMG Academy, which at the time was the top-ranked prep team in the country according to USA Today, Williams threw four shutout innings, allowing one hit while striking out eight.

Against Cartersville, which won the region championship, Williams pitched seven innings and gave up one unearned run while striking out nine.

“I tell people all the time, he’s the most competitive player I’ve ever coached,” Troup head coach Craig Garner said. “Without a doubt. It’s not even close, and I’ve coached a lot of good ballplayers.”

While Williams has anchored the staff for three seasons, Jackson Knox was a newcomer to the rotation this spring, and he was outstanding in earning a first-team all-region selection.

Knox’s most memorable performance of the season came in a 4-1 win over Cartersville when he pitched a complete-game five hitter while striking out eight.

The man who was behind the plate for nearly every inning of every game this season also made the all-region team. Cooper Doughman was one of Troup’s most effective hitters while leading the team in home runs, and he was also a rock at catcher.

“He kind of holds it together, and he’s the voice of reason,” Garner said. “He is truly one of those guys where the highs are not that high, and the lows are not that low. That’s what you want out of your catcher. You want your catcher to be the general on the field.”

Four other Troup players were second-team members of the all-region team.

That includes Colton Webb, who settled in as the starting shortstop as the season went along.

Webb also pitched for Troup, and he threw a complete-game one-hitter in a 4-0 win over Chapel Hill.

Also making the all-region team was outfielder Cade Garner, who had a walk-off hit in a 4-3 win over Callaway to end the regular season.

Caleb McCurry, Troup’s first baseman and a fixture in the middle of the lineup, made the second team as well.

Trace Meadows, Troup’s outstanding second baseman, also made the second team.


Player of the year

Preston Welchel – Cartersville

Pitcher of the year

Mason Barnett – Cartersville

Defensive player of the year

Trent Bailey – Troup


Jackson Knox – Troup

Colby Williams – Troup

Matthew Morgan – LaGrange

Connor Housley – Sandy Creek


Cooper Doughman (catcher) – Troup

Charles Crawford (utility) – LaGrange

Sandy Creek (infield) – Sandy Creek

Easton Oxenrider (infield) – Cedartown

Josh Davis (infield) – Cedartown

Griffin Elder (infield) – Cedartown

Reid Lovvorn (outfield) – Central

Bradley Turner (outfield) – Chapel Hill

Ian Inaba (outfield) – Cartersville



Jake Cardwell – LaGrange

Dalton Bowman – Cedartown

Brad Gabriel – Central

Logan Martin – Cartersville


Cade Garner (outfield) – Troup

Colton Webb (utility) – Troup

Caleb McCurry (infield) – Troup

Caron Carroll (catcher) – Central

Kanoti McDaniel (infield) – Sandy Creek

Jordan Wilkie (infield) – Cartersville

Jacob Bradshaw (infield) – Cedartown

Glenn Green (infield) – Sandy Creek


Tyler Gosdin – Cedartown

Brian Siefert – Sandy Creek

Cohen Wilbanks – Cartersville

Casey Casseen – Central

Jordan Thomas – Sandy Creek