The Steamboat Springs baseball team ended its 2004 season with a series of postseason awards from the state and the coaching staff.
After compiling an 8-11 record, the most wins ever for a Sailors baseball team, the coaches had the opportunity to recognize individual players who contributed to the season's success.
The Colorado High School Activities Association named juniors Mike Gleason, Nick Leader and Ben Montoya to its All-Academic team.
Junior Tyler Fosdick received honorable-mention recognition.
Fosdick and senior Sean Murphy were voted by the Western Slope League coaches to the All-Conference team. Senior Kevin Martin was voted to the honorable-mention team.
Murphy was voted by his teammates as the MVP of the season. He also won the Golden Glove award for his defense and the Cy Young award for his pitching.
"He's the only kid that played every inning," coach Sean Hicks said. "I think Sean is the person that really did the most for the team. Even though maybe his win-loss record or fielding percentage didn't show it, he was the go-to guy."
Fosdick picked up the batting title with a .492 average. Freshman Brian Aragon was named Rookie of the Year. Martin was awarded the Coaches' Award, or Sportsmanship Award, from Hicks and assistant Gary Engle. It was the second year Martin has won the award.
"It wasn't a question," Hicks said. "The kid works harder than everyone else. He refuses to fail, and when he does, he works twice as hard at the next practice or game. He doesn't accept doing bad, and when he does, he is still upbeat and supports his teammates."
While the Sailors had hoped to finish the season at .500 and make the playoffs, neither of which happened, improvements were made from a season ago, Hicks said.
In 2003, Steamboat batted .263 as a team compared to .342 this season. This season, the Sailors scored 132 runs on 194 hits and stole 58 bases. Last spring, Steamboat scored 96 runs on 130 hits and stole 49 bases.
Engle said the continued progress in the baseball program could be attributed to a number of things, including increased parent support, more players with experience and a stable and competent coaching staff.
"We're getting more kids at the high school level that have had a strong summer baseball program since they were 9 or 10," Engle said. "We have more players with good experience, and it fills the holes around the players that are natural stars. Another factor is having the same head coach three years in a row and having a head coach that has played at a very high level. Sean brings a tremendous amount of good baseball fundamental skills as well as more sophisticated understanding of the game to our program."
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org