Awards keep coming
The spoils keep rolling in for the Fredonia varsity baseball team as senior centerfielder Nick Hart was named the Class B Player of the Year while head coach Vince Gullo was named Coach of the Year by the New York State Sportswriters Association.
“That’s pretty extraordinary having an outfielder achieve that accomplishment,” Gullo said. “He was on base all the time. He scored 33 runs in the 12 league games and seven playoff games and also had 12 RBIs, so for him to do that in 19 games is phenomenal. That’s over two runs a game.”
Hart was one of five Hillbillies to make the Class B All-State teams as he joined fellow seniors Trent Thompson, Zach Buckley and Jude Gardner and sophomore Cam Voss.
“The five is the most in one year,” Gullo said. “And a lot of that has to do with our past success. Fredonia is really making a name for itself across the state.”
Thompson, who was a member of the First Team last year as a pitcher, was named as one of the Second Team’s pitchers this season.
“Trent finished 3-0 in the playoffs and was 8-0 on the year with a 1.54 ERA,” Gullo noted of his senior hurler. “He shutout Wayland-Cohocton in the Far West Regional and he had a six-inning shutout of JFK in the Sectional semifinals. He gave up zero earned runs in 24 innings in the playoffs.”
Buckley, arguably the local area’s best catcher, was named to the Third Team after a solid senior season.
“Zach was a two-year captain and he was our three hitter,” Gullo noted. “He made two absolutely incredible plays in the state finals and he was the talk of the tournament. It kind of reminded me of back in 2006 of the chatter amongst the writers Abe Rak created. Just how he dominated the tournament.”
Buckley finished his senior season by batting .371, with 22 runs and 17 RBIs.
Gardner was a member of the Sixth Team after a solid season at the plate and in the field.
“He was our spark plug in the playoffs,” Gullo said. “He was 10 for 23 with a double and three triples. He batted .410 on the year and he didn’t make any errors all year in left field.”
Voss, the youngest of the group, was named as a Fourth Team pitcher after a solid league season and lights-out performances in the playoffs.
“He was 3-0 in league, but I kept his work load low so he was ready for playoffs,” Gullo said. “And in the playoffs he turned everyone’s heads. He had a 1-hitter against Clinton in the finals, a 3-hitter against Tonawanda and a 3-hitter against Falconer.”
Voss was just as important at the plate where he batted .476 in the playoffs with 10 RBIs.
“Cam’s the ultimate team player,” Gullo added. “We understand that next year that we’ll have a completely different team. We have some nice pieces to build around. But what our seniors did this year, what a great year they had. They were three-time Sectional champions in baseball and we’re going to miss them all. I’m glad they’ve gotten their accolades at the end of the year.”
As for Gullo and his award, as he has all season long, he gave all the credit to his players and assistant coaches.
“An award like this only happens when your athletes play and produce at such a high level and then go out and win a state title,” Gullo said. “So it’s very exciting to win an award like this and I’ll accept it for our entire coaching staff.
“We worked together all year unselfishly in all of the decision making,” Gullo continued, noting his assistant coaches Charlie LaDuca, Greg Smith, Brent Thompson, Tim Cowan and Brian Bongiovanni. “They were at practice every day and were vital to our success.”
Other local players earning All-State honors include: Class A: Christ Conley (Lake Shore, Second Team, senior, infielder). Class C: Kenny Oakes (Cassadaga Valley, Second Team, senior, pitcher, Matt Hallowell (CVCS, Sixth Team, senior, pitcher), Nolan Hunt (Westfield, Fourth Team, sophomore, pitcher), Jon Coe (Westfield, Fifth Team, senior, catcher), Zach Wood (Portville, Third Team, senior, catcher), Justus Elliot (Portville, Fifth Team, junior, infielder), Brett Marcellin (Portville, Sixth Team, junior, pitcher), Tage Johnson (Frewsburg, Fourth Team, junior, infielder), Will Lucas (Maple Grove, Seventh Team, senior, pitcher), Colin Stack (Maple Grove, Seventh Team, junior, infielder). Class D: Tyler Swanson (Pine Valley, First Team, senior, pitcher), Spencer Sticek (PVCS, Second Team, senior, infielder), Winfred Nelson (Pine Valley, Fourth Team, junior, infielder), Jared Keppel (North Collins, senior, infielder), Scot Laurie (Brocton, Third Team, senior, pitcher), Jordan Patterson (Brocton, Fourth Team, infielder, senior), Trevor Enterline (Ripley, Third Team, pitcher), Kyle McIntyre (Panama, Fifth Team, senior, pitcher) and Ryan Robson (Sherman, Fifth Team, senior, pitcher).