The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 15, 2013

Graham, Bridges earn all-state honors in baseball

By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer

— Joplin’s Brett Graham and Carthage’s Drew Bridges are Class 5 all-staters, according to the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association.

Big 8 Conference power Seneca has three selections in Class 4 to highlight honors given to area players.

Bridges, a shortstop-pitcher in the spring, is on the Class 5 first team as designated hitter/utility. Third baseman Graham is on the second team as an infielder.

The right-handed batting Graham has signed with Missouri Southern State University. The lefty swinging Bridges, who’s signed with Missouri State University of Springfield, was chosen in the recent draft in the 20th round by the Yankees.

Said Joplin coach Kirk Harryman: “I believe Brett is our first all-stater since Dane Kolkmeyer (a senior this season at Missouri Southern). Brett is very deserving and I’m a typical coach in that I believe he’s a first-teamer. But we’re very happy he made the team.

“We always knew Brett could hit,” Harryman said. “But he kept working to become one of the best hitters in southwest Missouri. He’s done much work to improve. He’s improved his agility at third base as an example.”

Seneca, which lost in extra innings in the sectional round of the playoffs, is represented on the first team by senior outfielder Colton Webber.

Seneca has two juniors on the second team in infielder Dalan Merriman and DH/U Payton Rawlins.

Mount Vernon outfielder Kyler Shoff, a senior, also is on the second unit.

Diamond senior Ryan Jinks is an honorable mention infielder in Class 3.

Two Purdy seniors were honored in Class 2. Cameron Terry is on the second team at DH/U. Austin Hancock received mention as an outfielder.