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BE’s Bowles named Sixth Region ‘Coach of the Year’

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By Mike Farner

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - Congratulations go out to Bullitt East baseball coach Jeff Bowles who last week was named the Sixth Region ‘Coach of the Year’ for the 2012 season.

That honor came from the Kentucky Baseball Coaches Association.

Bowles has twice led Charger teams to regional championships, winning the Eight Region crown in 2004 before leading the 2009 team to the Sixth Region crown. That team in 2009 reached the state semi-finals before losing.

This season, Bullitt East lost just two games within the Sixth Region. In the regular season, the Chargers fell to Butler 2-0, but they avenged that loss with a 3-0 win over the Bears in the regional semi-finals. The other loss was the 3-0 setback to Pleasure Ridge Park in the Sixth Region final.

Bullitt East has won nine straight district titles in two different regions and districts. The Chargers will remain in the Sixth Region next season and be in the same numbered district, but there will be vastly different opponents. The ‘new’ 24th District will include Jeffersontown, Fern Creek and Whitefield Academy for baseball.

This season, Bowles may have had his most balanced team ever. There was no ‘ace’ pitcher, but the team was in almost every game because of good balance and remarkable depth.

All of that combined helped the Chargers to one of the best records in the state this spring. The red and gold were 30-6 during the regular season and finished 34-7 overall after falling to Pleasure Ridge Park 3-0 in the championship game of the Sixth Region Tournament.

The 34 victories were a school record, surpassing the 31 wins in 2009.

Pleasure Ridge Park junior Hunter Johnson was named the Sixth Region ‘Player of the Year.’

Senior All-Stars

That strong balance and depth showed as six Bullitt East seniors were invited to participate last Tuesday in an All-Star game pitting the best players from the Sixth and Seventh Regions against each other. The game was played at Pleasure Ridge Park High School.

The Bullitt East players selected for the game included Coulten Maupin, Tyler Minogue, Josh Stearns, Bradley Johnson, Adam Howell and Trevor Gonzalez.

All-24th District Team

After a very competitive season between the five schools, it was a pretty good group of players selected for the All-24th District Baseball Team.

Representing Bullitt East on that team was Maupin, Stearns and Minogue as well as juniors Jonathan Recktenwald and Hunter Wood. 

North Bullitt’s representatives on that squad included senior Anthony kennedy and juniors Clayton Kelly and Cody Stinnett. Bullitt Central junior Cody Powell was also on the honor team.

Rounding out the All-District team were Southern’s Sam Rein, Scott Belt and Joe Capehart along with Fairdale’s Brandon Blair, Josh Masterson and Reece Melotte.

East’s Simms Honored

Bullitt East senior softball player Rachel Simms was honored last week by the Kentucky Softball Coaches Association as a second-team All-State selection in Class AA.

Simms finished her senior season with a .550 batting average and was one of the area’s top catchers. She will continue her softball career next season at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Of course, softball is not divided up into classes in Kentucky, but the coaches felt it would work best that way and honor more players if they broke down into school size based on the classes used for track and cross-country. Each class had a ‘Player of the Year’ and then three All-Star teams.

The Class AA ‘Player of the Year’ was Hannah Hart of Corbin.