By Erik Harris, sports editor
It’s time to deal out some postseason awards.
In perhaps the most anticipated high school baseball season of the decade, due to the COVID-shortened 2020 slate, three local schools earned state playoff appearances in 2021 with two of them advancing beyond the first round.
Class 7A No. 1-ranked Hewitt-Trussville claimed the Area 6 championship before bumping Grissom in the first round and later falling to Hoover in the state quarterfinals. The Huskies finished with a record of 28-6.
After finishing as the Class 6A, Area 13 runner-up, Springville (22-13) also worked a first-round playoff sweep at Fort Payne and finished up with two losses to Gardendale the following week.
Leeds constructed a dominant Class 5A, Area 10 championship run, winning all six of its league games by a combined count of 83-8. The sixth-ranked Greenwave (23-11) would fall to Hayden in their playoff opener.
The season also included great moments from Pinson Valley, Clay-Chalkville and Moody. With that being said, here’s a look at the 2021 All-Tribune Baseball Team.
2021 All-Tribune Baseball Team
Riley Quick — junior pitcher, Hewitt-Trussville
The big righty was lights-out for head coach Jeff Mauldin as a junior on the bump. Quick (9-2) allowed only 10 earned runs in 70.2 innings thrown with a 0.99 ERA. The Class 7A Pitcher of the Year notched 116 strikeouts and worked two saves for Hewitt-Trussville.
Zach Johnson — junior center fielder, Moody
He punished opposing pitchers all year to the tune of 45 RBIs, seven doubles and four homers for the Blue Devils. Johnson, a junior, also turned in a .459 batting average last season as he earned Class 5A first-team all-state recognition.
Braxton Russell — senior shortstop, Clay-Chalkville
In 76 at-bats, Russell produced 31 hits, including 10 doubles, five triples and a home run for Clay-Chalkville last season.
Ethan Duhon — junior outfielder, Hewitt-Trussville
The junior left fielder led Hewitt-Trussville with a .349 batting average. Duhon also scored 30 runs and swiped 16 bags for the top-ranked Huskies in 2021.
Chris Calma — junior center fielder, Pinson Valley
Calma, a two-sport PVHS athlete, started in center field for first-year head coach John Gluschick, providing a .427 batting average, 27 runs scored and 20 stolen bases.
Jake Goolsby — senior first baseman, Springville
Goolsby was the top slugger in the Tribune-coverage area in 2021. A senior at first base, the Lawson State Community College signee drove in 39 runs for Springville en route to a second-round playoff run. He finished with a .460 batting average and reached base at a clip of .574.
Tucker Jones — senior catcher, Leeds
A senior stopper behind the plate, Jones also provided some thump to the Leeds lineup as he knocked in 34 RBIs and smacked 13 two-baggers for head coach Jake Wingo.
Matt Miller — junior catcher, Hewitt-Trussville
He was awarded first base more times than not last season. Miller, a junior catcher, paced Hewitt-Trussville with a .526 on-base percentage and drove in 28 runs with eight doubles and a home run.
Josh Ervin — junior catcher, Clay-Chalkville
Ervin led the Cougar lineup with a .427 batting average as he collected 32 hits and 21 RBIs in 2021.
Caleb Jatko — junior pitcher, Moody
Jatko (5-2) was Moody’s go-to guy on the mound last season as he pumped out 49.2 innings of work with 71 strikeouts and a 2.67 ERA.
Owen Prickett — senior pitcher, Springville
Nothing came free when Prickett got the ball. The Springville righty put in 59 innings of work as a senior, allowing only eight walks to go with 42 strikeouts and a 1.888 ERA. Prickett (6-3) will join Goolsby at Lawson State Community College next spring.
William Tarpley — senior pitcher, Pinson Valley
He was Pinson Valley’s ace pitcher and top RBI man. Tarpley, a Snead State signee, tossed 53 innings for the Tribe with with 66 strikeouts and a 1.69 ERA. He also swung at a .363 average and delivered 36 RBIs.
Will Landers — sophomore center fielder, Leeds
The sophomore center fielder led the Greenwave with 36 hits and finished second in batting average (.371). Landers went for 10 doubles and 23 RBIs for the Class 5A, Area 10 champions.
Skyler Jones — senior pitcher, Hewitt-Trussville
Jones, a right-hander who signed with Chattahoochee Valley Community College last November, won eight games and earned three saves as a senior for Hewitt-Trussville. He posted a 1.59 ERA and faned 101 batters in in 70.1 innings pitched.
Parker Wells — senior catcher, Springville
He was productive behind the plate and in the batter’s box for the Tigers last year. Wells, a senior catcher, doubled six times and hit for a .343 average in his first season in Class 6A play.
Trey Burrell — senior center fielder, Hewitt-Trussville
The leadoff-hitting center fielder paced the lineup with 31 hits, 37 runs scored and nine doubles last season. Burrell also went 20-for-22 on stolen base attempts to aid another strong season of Hewitt-Trussville (28-6) baseball.
Joseph Whitcomb — senior second baseman, Leeds
The first-year starter posted a team-high .379 batting average for Leeds last season to go with nine doubles and 37 runs scored.
Devin Kelly — senior Middle infielder, Pinson Valley
Kelly hit at a clip of .321 as a senior for the Tribe and added 19 RBIs and 15 runs scored.
Jackson Holland — senior first baseman, Hewitt-Trussville
Once Holland got on base, he was a problem for opponents. The senior first baseman stole 25 bags, connected with 29 hits, including four triples and ripped 21 RBIs for the Huskies.