Colquitt County’s Ross Goforth was named to the first team and teammates Mack Hathcock, Ryan Pipkin, Daniel Mobley and Cole Bryant were selected for the second team in the All-Region 1-AAAAAA baseball team selected by the region’s coaches.
Packers Gabe Mobley, Preston Berry, Kodi Bishop, Austin Craven, Clayton Brown, Jonah Bozeman and Andy Bush received honorable mention.
Keegan McGovern of region champion Coffee High was the Hitter of the Year; Tift County’s Deviner McCray was the Pitcher of the Year; Valdosta’s Daniel Tefft was the Academic Player of the Year; and Coffee’s Josh Cole was the Coach of the Year.
Tift County led the way with five players on the first team: McCray, infielder Zeke Dodson, outfielder Alex Abbott, catcher Will Reinhardt and designated hitter Briggs Benson.
Also on the first team were McGovern, outfielder Brian Davis and pitcher Jarred Spivey of Coffee; Tefft, an infielder, and pitcher Austin Lieupo of Valdosta; outfielder Nick Higginbothom and pitcher Corey Pope of Lowndes; pitcher Kyle Bialousz of Brunswick.
Goforth, who is heading to Northwest Florida State to continue his career, led the Packers in hitting with a .385 average and extra base hits with eight doubles, three triples and two home runs. The third baseman-shortstop missed the first three games of the season with an injury.
Joining the Packers quartet on the second team are infielders Logan Stephens and David Posa and pitcher Seth Shuman of Valdosta; infielder Zach Bullard of Tift County; infielder Cody Ilgenfritz and pitcher Jackson Cullen of Camden County; outfielder Landon Henderson and pitcher Will Souther of Coffee; catcher Cole Bradley of Lowndes; and pitcher Austin Guest of Brunswick.
Daniel Mobley batted .381 and led the Packers with 37 hits and 24 runs driven in. Hathcock led the Packers with 24 runs scored. Bryant, the senior right-hander, went 6-1 with a 3.72 ERA.
Pipkin hit .341 in 47 at bats.
Also receiving honorable mention were Wyatt Miller, Walker Caves and Luke Sims of Coffee; Blake Suggs and Ryan Ross of Tift County; Brennan Goodson of Valdosta; Mason Miller and Henry Hoff of Lowndes; Trey McGee of Brunswick; and Chandler Cross of Camden County.
Packers coach Tony Kirkland was disappointed that Berry did not make the second team. Although the senior catcher batted only .224, he threw out 18 base runners and had a .475 on base percentage, second among the starters.
Kirkland also said he felt Daniel Mobley was deserving of a berth on the first team.
PACKERS NOTES: Assistant coach Will Southwell has resigned his position on the varsity staff to spend more time with his family and to continue his education.
“He has been such an important part of Packer baseball,” Kirkland said of Southwell, a member of the Packers 2003 state championship team and Georgia Southern Eagle. “But I support his decision 100 percent.”
Ryan Strickland will take Southwell’s place on the staff and will coach the infielders. Jake Mobley will coach the outfielders.
The Packers will begin summer work on Tuesday, May 27. They will practice and play their summer games on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Home-and-home games this summer are scheduled against Lee County, Lowndes, Thomas County Central and Berrien.
“Our focus will be on skill development this summer,” Kirkland said. “We’ve got a lot of new young kids this year and we want to see how they mesh.”