Players selected to Ozark 7 All-Conference team
Five schools play baseball in the Ozark 7 Conference. Four of those schools are located in Barry County, and with those schools finishing one through four in the conference standings, local teams garnered 18 All-Conference selections.
The Purdy Eagles were the undisputed Ozark 7 champions this year for the third year in a row. The Eagles earned seven total selections on the first and second teams.
Mason Roller was selected as player of the year in the Ozark 7. Roller pitched for the Eagles as well as played first base. Roller was proud of the accomplishment.
"I was excited to get it, but I also knew I had put in a lot of work to get there," said Roller.
The junior also was very complimentary of his teammates.
"We have a bunch of great guys," said Roller. "If I had my choice, I would put all nine of them on there (first team)," commented Roller.
As it turns out, five of Roller's teammates were named to the first or second teams.
Seniors Ryan Veith, Josh Wiseman and Derek Dailey and junior Chris Bennett were all named to the first team.
Trent Goetz, a junior, was Purdy's only selection on the second team.
The Eagles also had one more selection in Coach of the Year Josh Hughes.
It is Hughes third time to win the award, and fittingly, as Purdy has lost only one conference game in the three years Hughes has been there.
"This award means that my team had a good year and that being named coach of the year is a tribute to how good my players are," said Hughes. "The players really deserve the honor when a coach is named coach of the year."
Those players and Hughes not only won the Ozark 7 this year but finished with a second straight appearance in the Missouri state playoffs.
"It is an honor every year to have these young men play for me," said Hughes.
The Exeter Tigers had a very good year, finishing second in the Ozark 7 and earning four All-Conference selections.
Senior Chase Higgs and juniors Keith Hayworth and Trenton Vanzandt were all named to the first team. Senior Tyler Henderson was named to the second team.
The Tigers are coached by Jason Cole.
Wheaton also garnered four selections on the All-Conference squads. Derek Parsons, a senior, was the only Bulldog to receive first team recognition. Senior Colten Pointer, sophomore Blake Dilbeck and freshman Jacob Beck all were named to the second team.
The Southwest Trojans baseball squad had three players named to the Ozark 7 squads. Sophomores Josh Hartin and Levi Roberts were both named to the first team while junior Caleb Mitchell was a second team selection. The Trojans are coached by Kenny Ferguson.