Sports & Outdoors

Raiders end their history-making season with final banquet on Monday

The Raiders took a determined team spirit and their bright blonde rally hair into the May 28 state final game but fell to East Robertson by a final score of 5-1. A number of seniors and underclassman received season end honors Monday night at the baseball banquet. {Photo Credit: Jeff Reed Photography}

LOCAL SPORTS NEWS — Monday night was an emotional night for the 2020-21 MCHS Raider baseball team, their coaches, family, and friends. As the TSSAA Class A State Runner Up team gathered at MCHS on July 12 for the season-ending banquet many laughs and tears were shared.

The team enjoyed a catered meal by Miss Mary Bobo’s Restaurant before enjoying a slide slow of images from team photographer Jeff Reed. Then Raider Head Coach Randy Morey introduced Coach Woody Hunt to speak to the players and their guests. Coach Hunt served as the Cumberland University Head Coach for 41 years. The Phoenix racked up three NAIA national championships (2004, 2010, 2014) as well as two runner-up finishes (1995, 2006) during his tenure.

Numerous members of the the 2020-21 squad received honors. Bruce Gilford present Hayden Cooper with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Award. Then Coach Chris Thomas presented four season awards.

Rookie of the Year went to Keller Morey. Rookie of the year goes to the best performing 8th grader or freshman. Keller had a .301 batting average with 22 hits, two doubles, and one triple. Keller finished with 11 RBI and 16 stolen bases as well as three saves on the season with 34 strikeouts.

The Silver Slugger Award went to Chris Martin. The Silver Slugger is awarded to the best offensive player. During the 2021 campaign Chris went 45-96 with a .559 batting average. He collected 22 singles, 16 doubles, and seven homeruns. This Raider also collected 41 RBI. This was good enough to be ranked seventh in state for batting average and seventh in the state for doubles.

The Golden Spikes Award went to Ryder Morey. The Golden Spikes is awarded to the player who stole the most bases during the season. During the 2021 campaign Ryder stole 32 out of 36 attempts for a .889% stolen base percentage. This was good enough to rank him eleventh in the State for Stolen Bases.

Chris Martin also won the Hank Aaron Award. The Hank Aaron award is awarded to the offensive player with the most home runs during the season. During the 2021 season, Chris had seven home runs in 96 at bats.

Next up, James Sparkman presented the pitching and fielding awards.

Keller Morey won Reliever of the Year. He was three for three on save opportunities pitching 3.2 innings in the state run with five strikeouts and an ERA of .000 while only allowing two hits.

The Cy Young Award went to Ryder Morey. The Cy Young award is given to the best pitcher statistically during the 2021 season. During the 2021 season Ryder went a perfect nine wins and zero loses with a 1.6 ERA. This stat allowed him to be ranked eighth in the state. He struck out 73 batters while only walking 18 and allowing only 14 runs the entire season.

The Golden Glove Infield Award went to Dustin Thomas. The Infield Golden Glove is awarded to an infielder who has exhibited superior individual fielding performances at their position. During the 2021 season, Thomas had a .983 fielding average while only committing one error during the season on 59 chances.

The Golden Glove Outfield Award went to Kaden White. The Outfield Golden Glove is awarded to an infielder who has exhibited superior individual fielding performances at their position. During the 2021 Kaden had a .972 fielding average while only committing one error during the season on 36 chances.

Next up, Head Coach Randy Morey present four awards. The Secret Weapon Award went to Austin Kirby. Both Jacob Baker and Luke Gold were awarded the Coach’s Award. The Raider Award went to both Kyler Parker and Donavin Pearson.

Coach Corey Mullins handed out three Mr. May Awards.

Dustin Thomas won the Mr. May Fielding Award. The Mr. May Fielding goes to the player who stepped their game up during the playoff run. Dustin stepped his defense up even more during playoffs with a 1.000% fielding percent on 18 attempts.

Gage Burt won the Mr. May Pitching Award. The Mr. May Pitching Award goes to the player who stepped up their game on the mound during the playoff run. Gage secured the Regional Championship for the Raiders pitching six innings allowing two runs with nine strikeouts. This senior also pitched in the first State Playoff game in Moore County history allowing zero runs.

Kaden White won the Mr. May Hitting Award. The Mr. May Hitting Award goes to the player who stepped up their game in the batter box during the playoff run. Kaden had a .464 batting average during our playoff run with 13 hits, four doubles, and one triple. He finished with 10 RBI and none were bigger than the two from his huge two out hit against North Greene scoring Ryder Morey and Kyler Parker to tie the game, and set it up for Donavin Pearson to top off the Raiders five run, seventh inning.

Several Raiders also earned All State Awards including Chris Martin, Ryder Morey, and Kaden White. Interestingly, TSSAA officials named Kaden All State in three sports: football, wrestling, and baseball.

Near the end of the awards, senior Kyler Parker gave a passionate speech about the legacy the 2020-21 team began.

“In 2021 we started a legacy, a legacy that the underclassmen can continue building. We have 10 guys that were a huge piece of the puzzle to start this legacy,” he told the crowd.

Here’s a list of career and season awards as provided by the Moore County Raider Baseball coaching staff:

Ryder Morey

  • 2017 – Rookie of the Year,
  • 2017 – Pitcher of the Year,
  • 2018 – Raider Award,
  • 2018 – TN Baseball Super Freshman/Sophomore Team,
  • 2019 – TN Baseball Super Freshman/Sophomore Team,
  • 2019 – Tennessee Baseball Report – Region 4 – All Region,
  • 2021 – District Pitcher of the Year
  • 2021 – Tennessee Baseball Report – Region 4 – Honorable Mention
  • 2021 – 11th in State for Stolen Bases in a Season (32/36)
  • 2021 – 8th in State for Wins in a Season (9)
  • 2021 – Team Co-MVP
  • 2021 – Cy Young
  • 2021 – Golden Spikes
  • 2021 – Tennessee Sports Writer Association – Class A – All State – Infield

Dustin Thomas

  • 2018 – Rookie of the Year,
  • 2019 – Golden Glove
  • 2021 – All District
  • 2021 – Golden Glove
  • 2021 – Mr May Defense

Gage Burt

  • 2018 – Rookie of the Year
  • 2021 – All District
  • 2021 – Mr. May Pitching

Austin Kirby

  • 2021 – Secret Weapon Award

Donnie Pearson

  • 2021 – Raider Award

Kaden White

  • 2021 – All District
  • 2021 – 12th in State for Hits in a Season (53)
  • 2021 – Tennessee Baseball Report – Region 4 – All Region Honorable Mention
  • 2021 – Golden Glove Outfield
  • 2021 – Mr May Batting
  • 2021 – Tennessee Sports Writer Association- Class A – All State – Outfield

Kyler Parker

  • 2021 – All District
  • 2021 – Raider Award

Chris Martin

  • 2021 – District MVP
  • 2021 – 15th in State for Batting Average in a Season (.469)
  • 2021 – 7th in State for Doubles in a Season (16)
  • 2021 – Tennessee Baseball Report – Region 4 – All Region
  • 2021 – Tennessee Baseball Report – All State 1st Team
  • 2021 – Team Co-MVP
  • 2021 – Silver Slugger
  • 2021 – Hank Aaron Award
  • 2021 – Tennessee Sports Writer Association – Class A – All State – Utility

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