All-Star Week honors players of all sports

By Donna Stephens Originally Published June 16, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated June 14, 2013 at 4:15 p.m.
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Fifty-two athletes from the River Valley & Ozark Edition coverage area will be among the 458 reporting Monday for the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star Week at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.

Coaches will report, today, Father’s Day, with players following on Monday. Practices for all sports will begin Monday. Baseball and softball doubleheaders are set for Tuesday, soccer and volleyball is scheduled for Wednesday, basketball will go Thursday, and football will conclude the week’s festivities on Friday.

Derek Vickers of Mayflower, the only River Valley & Ozark player on the East baseball team, can’t wait.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting all those people and playing with guys from a higher classification,” the Eagles’ third baseman/pitcher said. “I’m just excited for the new experience. Every day it gets closer, and I get more excited.”

Representatives from the region will be involved in every sport, including cheer and dance, except girls basketball.

“Being selected to participate in the all-star game is a great honor and a great opportunity, just to be able to be around some of the better talent, the more talented players in the state of Arkansas,” said Roddy Mote of Harding Academy, head football coach for the East. “Being able to compete and develop new friendships is a big deal.”

Those squads that have not yet played their games will attend the other all-star contests during the week to cheer on their new friends.

“You’re always getting ready for the next game; there’s always a next game, but this is it,” Mote said. “Those who are chosen as all-stars have had an opportunity to do the very most they can as a high school player, and it’s very rewarding for them. They feel very honored and very humbled.”

Joey Pinney of Central Arkansas Christian is on the West baseball squad. He will play at UCA next year.

“It’s a great opportunity to be around a lot of great players and to show what I’ve got,” he said. “I’ve played with a lot of the guys on the all-star teams, and it will be great to be with them one last time before we go off to college.”

Representing the River Valley & Ozark region in baseball will be Vickers, competing for the East; and Pinney, Bryan Ayers of Vilonia; Bryant Haralson of Hector; Cole Schichtl of Conway St. Joseph; Jacob Hollingsworth of Maumelle; and Jordan Haas of Lamar, all on the West roster.

The East boys basketball roster includes Logan Bailey of Greers Ferry West Side and Justin Leon of Conway. Playing for the West will be Andrew Beck of Conway St. Joseph. Michael Perry of Pottsville will be the team’s manager.

The East football squad includes Brandon Kotch of Conway, Daniel Gieber of Mayflower and Derrick Fisher of Heber Springs. The West football roster includes Seth Peters of Greenbrier, Gilberto Garcia and Jamar Criswell of Morrilton, Michael Atkinson of Vilonia, Austin Fisher of Greenbrier, Austin Rogers of Pottsville and Tanner Stevenson of Conway Christian.

On the East girls soccer roster are Elyse Albright of Maumelle, Molly Hilburn of Conway, Allison Lea of Conway Christian and Hannah Ray of Conway. For the West, Brooke Creblich of Central Arkansas Christian will play, as will Marlo Stacy and Lhear Tapley of Greenbrier.

In boys soccer, the East squad includes Logan Hampton of Conway, Mason McNeil of Russellville and Jared Theilke of Conway St. Joseph. Jarrod Blocker of Vilonia will be the manager. Playing for the West will be Beau Barnes of CAC, Jacob Colbert and Eric Medina of Greenbrier, Brian Rodriguez of Danville and Dylan Sherrill of CAC.

The East softball roster includes Alexis Ingram of Heber Springs, Mariah Garcia of Perryville, Rebecca Wahrmund of Nemo Vista and Sommer Purtscher of Russellville. Playing for the West will be Aundrea Hardin of Greenbrier and Laken Gray of Pottsville.

Playing for the East volleyball team will be Shannon Hocker of Russellville and Logan Tolbert of CAC.

Sarah Lynch of Heber Springs, along with M.K. Freeman and

Madison Cole of Conway, will be part of the East cheer squad. The East dance team will include Bailey Burnett and Kim Santillan of Russellville, and Macy Stone and Ansley Mathis of Conway.

None Donna Stephens can be reached at .

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