Three Bobcats land on all-league list
Cody McCoy led the Basehor-Linwood High School baseball team in batting average, at-bats, hits, RBIs, extra-base hits and home runs.
It was fitting then that the team's only senior and most dominant offensive player was the only Bobcat named to the all-Kaw Valley League postseason squad. McCoy, the Bobcats' first baseman, was selected to the second team as an infielder.
"I was glad," McCoy said. "All-league was a goal of mine from day one of this season. When I found out, I was excited. I was glad that it happened. I was a little disappointed that I didn't get first team, but there were a lot of solid players in our league."
McCoy was asked to clarify. Did he feel that he deserved to be on the first team?
"Oh, no, no," McCoy said. "I deserved second team. There were four excellent players that got first-team infield, so I think I deserved second team."
McCoy hit .357 with 15 RBIs. He had seven extra-base hits including one home run.
Was McCoy happy with the way the year went individually?
"Yes, with parts of my performance," McCoy said. "I was generally happy with my hitting. I felt like I was pretty solid at the plate this year. I wasn't happy with my pitching. My strikeout-to-walk ratio was right about where I wanted it, but my hits per innings pitched were way up. I expected more of myself. I came into the season with high expectations for myself on the hill. I finished 4-2 as a sophomore, 2-4 as a junior, but 0-5 as a senior. That stung a little bit. I pitched against solid teams, but I still would have liked to do better."
McCoy was the team's premier hitter, go-to pitcher against the best competition, and lone senior, but insisted that carrying the bulk of the load didn't rattle him.
"The pressure really didn't get to me," McCoy said. "I've been used to it. I've played baseball my whole life, and it is just second nature to me. There wasn't a time where I wanted to be somewhere else."
McCoy was also able to act as the bearer of good news for his young teammates. Brandon Leppke and Ryan Lawless, both freshmen, received honorable-mention nods from the KVL. After coach Dave Svoboda called McCoy with the good news, the senior first baseman quickly called Lawless.
"Coach Svoboda called me at about 7:30 the night of the voting and then Ryan and Tyler were the first ones I called," McCoy said. "I was really excited for them. I told Ryan first and then he told Tyler. Ryan didn't believe me, actually. Ryan was really surprised."
Lawless and Leppke were two of just three freshmen to garner mention by the KVL.
"I think that is a great sign that the program is headed in the right direction," McCoy said.
Lawless hit .339 on the season.
Leppke finished with a .353 average, good for second on the club. He also finished first on the team with six stolen bases and 12 runs scored.
McCoy said he was surprised a couple of his other teammates didn't get recognized.
"Tyler Henley, he played a solid outfield and down the home stretch, he tore it up at the plate," McCoy said. "Another one was Tyler Miles; he made spectacular plays in the outfield for us. The kind of plays you see on 'Sportscenter.' I hope they get the acknowledgements next year."
The Bobcats finished 5-14 this year and McCoy said earning all-league honors helped take away some of the disappointment of the rough season.
"Yeah, it does. It helps a lot," McCoy said. "When I found out, it was kind of a bittersweet taste that I got second team and we ended up with the record we got. In the future, I just hope more Basehor kids get recognized."
McCoy has a prediction for who the next Bobcat to get recognition will be. He is unwilling to make a specific guarantee, however.
"If certain players play the way that they are capable next year, I will guarantee a first-teamer," McCoy said. "I think it will be Tyler Henley. I think he will do better pitching next year and in the outfield."