West knew it had something special in Kolbey Carpenter.
But there was no way to predict what he was able to accomplish this season.
A year after bursting on the scene by striking out 100 batters and ripping four home runs en route to the Super Centex Newcomer of the Year honor as a freshman, Carpenter did himself one better as a sophomore.
Using a simple approach at the plate, Carpenter terrorized opposing pitchers.
“See a good pitch and hit it,” Carpenter said. “I go up to the plate, and I try to read what the pitcher’s doing. Then I just attack off what I see and how I think he’s going to pitch me.”
However he does it, it works.
The sophomore ranked among the area leaders in every offensive category, including hits (64), runs (62), doubles (21), home runs (13) and RBIs (59).
He was also one of the area’s top pitchers, going 10-2 with a 1.81 ERA and was named the District 7-3A MVP.
Now he can add another award to his growing list of accomplishments as he’s been named the Super Centex Player of the Year.
He’s the first baseball player from West to claim the award since at least 1987.
Carpenter’s ability to dominate at such a young age stems from a passion for the game that has him playing year-round.
“I’ve been playing since I was 7 years old, all year round,” Carpenter said. “I haven’t really stopped playing since then. I play nonstop. . . . Baseball season’s all year long for me.”
That kind of work ethic can become contagious for a team, and West’s successful season began in the offseason with everyone pulling together with the same goals in mind.
“We had players two months before the season started hitting in the batting cage and working their tails off to get ready for the season,” Carpenter said. “I think that was a big part of our success this season.”
The Trojans advanced to the Class 3A Region I semifinals for the second straight year before dropping a heartbreaker to Lubbock Estacado, 6-5.
But this year, the Trojans accomplished a goal they didn’t last year, breezing through District 7-3A undefeated to bring home the crown.
“That was definitely the first goal we had,” Carpenter said. “Coach (Cory) Beckham told us, ‘don’t even think about the playoffs until that gets taken care of.’ He wanted us to have a good preseason, and we did. That really prepared us for district.”
Carpenter grabbed the award over a number of talented players that included Belton teammates Shane Hoelscher and Dillon Newman, and Robinson’s do-it-all threat Matt Walker, among others.
Coach of the Year:
Bryan Kent, Robinson
When Robinson needed a new head baseball coach with the departure of Derek Watson, it decided to promote from within.
It turned out to be a wise decision.
Bryan Kent, who had been an assistant at Robinson for the last two seasons, assumed the top spot this season.
Because of their already-established relationship, the players knew what to expect from Kent and vice versa. That made it a seamless transition.
“Robinson baseball’s always been a good program, and Derek did a good job keeping it going,” Kent said. “There’s nothing that I did any different. We do a lot of the same things he did.”
Still, there’s no denying the results, which included a 27-0 regular season, a No. 1 ranking and a berth in the 3A Region III semifinals.
For that, Kent earned the title as Super Centex Coach of the Year.
And he enjoyed every minute of his first year at the helm.
“As much fun as we had this year, it had to do with we have good baseball players, but we also have good kids,” Kent said. “Coming to the field every day and knowing that’s what you were going to get from them was very enjoyable. I enjoyed every day of it this year. It never got to be a grind.”
Newcomer of the Year:
Kramer Robertson, Midway
Coming into the season, Kramer Robertson just wanted to be on varsity.
He accomplished much more than that in his freshman year.
Robertson was a key cog in Midway’s late-season surge and deep playoff run, hitting in the No. 3 hole in the lineup and playing nearly flawlessly at both middle infield spots.
“When the playoffs come around, you have so much adrenaline and you’re more nervous than excited,” Robertson said. “I wanted to be in that position. I wanted to be in the middle of the lineup, and I wanted to be a big part of the team and make an impact.”
In the postseason, he was nearly unstoppable at the plate, hitting at a .500 clip (15-for-30). For the year, Robertson batted .365 and struck out only seven times in his 104 at-bats.
His late-season production gave him the edge he needed to earn the Super Centex Newcomer of the Year award.
“It’s a great honor because there are great underclassmen and freshmen in Central Texas,” Robertson said. “Zach Sullivan of Robinson and Dylan Janek of West are such great players. I’ve played against them the last couple summers, and they’re great. It’s an honor to get this award, and I’m glad I got it.”
2010 SUPER CENTEX BASEBALL TEAM
Player of the Year: Kolbey Carpenter, West
Newcomer of the Year: Kramer Robertson, Midway
Coach of the Year: Bryan Kent, Robinson
|OF||Michael Martin||Jr||.410||23||China Spring|
Catchers: Kendall Knuppel, Crawford; Cody Smith, Meridian; Bryce Frazier, Parkview; Joseph Olson, Robinson; Jacob Kane, Vanguard; Hance Spencer, Wortham.
Infielders: Keith Lindsay, Axtell; Mason George, China Spring; Brad Maddux and Dalton Vannatta, Clifton; Braden Trussell, Connally; Brock Jacobs, Crawford; Evan Simpson and Cullen Minze, Fairfield; Kyle Montgomery, Frost; Jimmy Roberts and Jarred Ashley, Lorena; Austin Crawford and Joe Barrett, Meridian; Marc Martinez, Midway; Alec Newman, Rosebud-Lott; Dylan Sebek, Troy; Jake Blum, Philip Koelsch, Ted Parrish and Jake Schwartz, Vanguard; Jake Jones and Trace Shirley, Wortham.
Outfielders: Christian Dejean, Frost; Blaine Perkins, Groesbeck; Damian Allen, Meridian; Larson Wayman, Vanguard.
Designated hitters: Alex Ponce, Groesbeck; Zach Yelland, Robinson.
Pitchers: Tyler Vail, Belton; Sterling Wynn, China Spring; Jacob Stroder, Frost; Stephen Ruen, Groesbeck; Dylan Meyers, Rosebud-Lott; Isaiah Ellis, Vanguard; Brandon Lansford, Wortham.
Big-hitting backstop drilled 17 doubles, 9 home runs to earn district offensive MVP honors.
Powered Blackcats to regional quarterfinals by scoring school-record 44 runs, went deep 7 times.
Batted .477, reached base more than half the time and was a pest once he got on with 26 stolen bases.
Rice signee dominated at plate with 52 runs scored and 57 RBIs, made tough plays look easy in field.
Versatile, consistent Cub hit better than .500, drove in 36 runs while providing steady hand on the mound.
Two-time Super Centex first-teamer crushed 15 doubles, 8 home runs for playoff-bound Pirates.
Jr, China Spring
District 7-3A co-offensive MVP added speed for Cougars, who went three rounds deep in playoffs.
All-district first-teamer the biggest bright spot for Cadets with .460 average, .560 on-base percentage.
Baylor signee one of area’s top all-around players, sporting .612 average, routinely tops 90 mph on radar gun.
District MVP led Rockets’ surge to No. 1 ranking, undefeated regular season from leadoff spot, on mound.
Super Centex player of year wrecked opponents on mound with 10-2 record, at plate with 13 homers.
Panthers’ ace on mound fanned 131 hitters in 97 innings of work, was also district’s offensive MVP.
Flame-throwing righty was nearly untouchable, striking out 131 in 71 innings with 0.59 ERA.
Baylor signee helped Tigers to regional semifinals, earned district co-MVP honors with 13-1 record.
Was nearly automatic for Hornets, posting ERA less than 1, earning district’s defensive MVP honor.
Rocket bounced back after losing most of freshman season to injury with 12-1 record, 1.26 ERA.
Key member of dominant pitching staff went 10-1, struck out 81 in 49 1/3 to earn first-team all district.
Stepped in and made presence felt immediately, was at best in postseason, going 15-for-30 at plate.
First-year head coach guided Rockets to new heights that included No. 1 ranking, spotless regular season.