Haskins, Petersen, Boyce honored in balloting

When one looks at high school All-State teams in the variety sports voted on by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association each school year, it’s always fun to fantasize what those squads would be like in actual game competition together.

There’s no question those said teams would be something else.

Take the group of talented baseball players to land spots on the 2019 Class AAA All-State Team.

Three pitchers headed off to Division I schools lead the way. Jake Carr of St. Albans, who is bound for WVU, joins Josh DeLauter, who will play at the next level for James Madison and Hurricane’s Jonathan Blackwell, whose next days of pitching will come at Marshall University.

(While DeLauter was a star pitcher for Hedgesville he was named to the unit as a utility player. He plans to both pitch and play outfield at JMU.)

In addition to being chosen Class AAA First Team All-State, Carr and DeLauter share the captain’s position of the squad and were also picked as co-winners of the John Lowery Award, which goes each year to the state’s top baseball player. DeLauter won the award outright a year ago.

The other player recognized for the pitching staff was Spring Valley’s Cody Sharp.

If the 2019 team was to play games with this incredible pitching lineup, the man who would have the honor of doing the catching is Ripley High School’s very own Tyler Haskins.

The senior who is off to Fairmont State to continue his education and baseball playing days was selected as the First Team All-State catcher in the balloting.

Haskins developed into an outstanding player behind the plate during his four seasons for head coach Shane Casto and was equally productive at the plate as the Vikings' leadoff hitter.

“Tyler had a great year and great career for us,” said Casto, who was a Class AAA First Team All-State selection in 1997 after helping lead Ripley to its first-ever state title in any sport as a slick-fielding shortstop. “He was our spark plug and got us going. He worked extremely hard all winter and was determined to have a good year and that’s exactly what he did.”

The infielders for the AAA First Team consisted of Aidan Johnson of George Washington, Joel Gardner of Hurricane, Trevor Thomas of Wheeling Park and Grant Harman of Martinsburg.

The outfielders were Easton Petit of Cabell Midland, Hedgesville’s Hunter Coe and Musselman’s Blake Hartman.

Other utility players besides DeLauter were Tyler Cox of Hurricane, Jefferson’s Taylor Tennant and Beckley Woodrow Wilson’s Hunter Fansler.

All of the First Team picks were seniors with the exception of Cox, a junior, and Hartman and Gardner, who are sophomores.

Ripley’s top pitcher, Dane Petersen, earned Second Team All-State honors as an outfielder.

“Dane had a great career for us on the mound going 21-6 over the last three years,” Casto said. “I hate it for him that he wasn’t able to crack the First Team after being Second Team last year. But to be recognized on Second Team is a great accomplishment, especially being named multiple years.”

Petersen plans to baseball at the next level for West Virginia State University.

Junior infielder Broedy Boyce garnered Special Honorable Mention in the balloting.

“He had a very good year for us. I’m glad we have him back for another season,” said Casto. “I look for him to work hard and be determined to join the wall we have on our press box with Ripley Baseball First Team All-Staters.”