Player of the Year | Ian Townsend, Jr., Hernando
His late-season surge, his role as a clutch hitter and heart of the infield made Townsend the choice to represent the Leopards' region final team. His numbers also back it up. Townsend hit .473 with 44 hits, 35 runs, 26 RBIs, 10 doubles, a triple and a home run. He led the Leopards with 72 assists on defense and turned five double plays.
Most impressive accomplishment: Finished the season with a 15-game hitting streak, including an impressive 3-for-4 to help the Leopards beat Wesley Chapel 7-4 to reach the region final. Townsend scored twice, had an RBI and was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle.
Did you know? Townsend moved to England at one point in his childhood and played for a British national team. Townsend's father is originally from England, and he was pursuing a dream job. Townsend's team eventually had to forfeit because too many American kids on the team were traveling to the United States for the summer, meaning there were not enough players to field a team. During his time in England, Townsend would travel almost two hours on public transit to reach the practice field.
Future plans: Townsend wants to play at the college level and has received letters for baseball and football from schools such as North Carolina State, Vanderbilt, Stanford and UCLA. If athletics are not an option, Townsend is considering a career in bioengineering.
Pitcher of the Year | Cole Miraglia, Sr., Wesley Chapel
The most dominant pitcher on the North Suncoast was crucial in lifting the Wildcats to a program-best 24-4 record. Miraglia went 9-1 with 95 strikeouts and a 1.49 ERA. He also hit .468 with 37 hits, 27 RBIs, 21 runs with seven doubles and two home runs.
Most impressive accomplishment: Miraglia established himself as the North Suncoast's top pitcher in a 5-0 win at Pasco on March 5. Miraglia went the distance, one of three complete games on the year, striking out 10 and walking four in the one-hit effort. It marked the first win for Wesley Chapel against Pasco.
Did you know? Miraglia grew up in Long Island, N.Y., until he moved here four years ago. Miraglia became involved in baseball when he was 4. His father built a batting cage in his backyard, which backed up to a baseball field. Some differences between Florida and New York: 1) the heat here has been a challenge, but Miraglia said he gets to play baseball year round. He also wears No. 17 because he was a big Mets fan, his favorite player being Keith Hernandez. He has been wearing the number since he was 10, and yes, Miraglia has seen the Seinfeld episode featuring Hernandez.
Future plans: Signed with Central Florida Community College. He expects to be starting as a pitcher and rotating at first base. In two years, Miraglia hopes to land in the draft and is considering a career in physical therapy.
C Spencer Bowles, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: Hit .453 with 34 hits, 31 runs, 35 RBIs, 12 doubles, one triple and three home runs
INF Brennan Allen, Sr., Pasco: Hit .429 with 29 hits, 17 runs, 30 RBIs, six doubles, one triple and four home runs
INF Jack Diven, Sr., Springstead: Hit .413 with 26 hits, 20 runs, 20 RBIs, eight doubles, two triples and a home run
INF Geoff DeGroot, Jr., Wesley Chapel: Hit .347 with 31 hits, 24 runs, 10 RBIs, five doubles and one of the best gloves on the North Suncoast
INF David Heintz, Jr., Bishop McLaughlin: Hit .385 with 30 hits, 20 runs, 22 RBIs, six doubles and a triple; also had a 1.38 ERA with 57 strikeouts and a 6-2 record
OF Kevin Games, Jr., Mitchell: Hit .419 with 36 hits, 27 runs, 32 RBIs, four doubles, one triple and three home runs
OF Louis Colaiacomo, Jr., Hernando: Hit .479 with 45 hits, 35 runs, 27 RBIs, 14 doubles, one triple and two home runs
OF Trey Dudley-Giles, So., Pasco: Hit .462 with 30 hits, 26 runs, 17 RBIs, five doubles, six triples and a home run
UT Cyler Porter, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: Hit .376 with 32 hits, 22 runs, 28 RBIs, 10 doubles, one triple, one home run; also went 7-1 with a 1.82 ERA and 48 strikeouts
DH Josh Johnson, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: Hit .519 with 41 hits, 33 runs, 34 RBIs, nine doubles and three triples
P Jason Garcia, Sr., Land O'Lakes: The pro prospect went 6-4 with 107 strikeouts and a 1.46 ERA
P John Michael Gant, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch: Went 7-2 with a 1.72 ERA and 70 strikeouts
C Justin Frost, Sr., Wesley Chapel
INF Robby McCabe, So., Ridgewood
INF Cody Van De Boe, Sr., Mitchell
INF Austin Aubuchon, Sr., Land O'Lakes
INF Julian Perez, Jr., Springstead
OF Brett Maggard, Jr., Springstead
OF Ricky Handschumacher, Jr., Ridgewood
OF Drew Mitchell, Jr., Wesley Chapel
UT T.J. Wharton, Jr., Bishop McLaughlin
DH Tyler Brock, Jr., Pasco
P Brandon Mumaw, Jr., Wesley Chapel
P Danny Colon, Sr., Nature Coast
Anclote: Vincent Nisi; Bishop McLaughlin: Tyler Cooler; Central: J.T. Simpson; Hernando: Justin Gates, Taylor Owensby, Austin Rollins; Hernando Christian: Zane Blackburn, Dakota D'Ambrosio; Hudson: Mike Powers, Brennan Taylor; Land O'Lakes: Tommy Cook, Connor Coplon, Nick Pardo; Mitchell: Conner Hales, Tim McCormick; Nature Coast: Tommy Tombasco; Pasco: Chris Dious, Cole Stancil; Ridgewood: Austin Tolle; River Ridge: Michael Alford, Tommy Peterson, Taylor Rish; Springstead: Patrick Dwyer, Brandon Lawson, Bobby Pasarela; Sunlake: Justin Ortiz, Bruce Wong; Wiregrass Ranch: Ryan Madden; Zephyrhills: Nick Masartis, Michael Wilson, Casey Yingling.
Coach of the Year | Tim Sims, Hernando
The veteran coach guided the Leopards back to the region finals for the first time since 2004. He did it with young players, getting them to mesh midway through the season and getting them to believe they were talented enough to contend for a playoff berth. Hernando pulled off some big wins, including a season sweep of rival Springstead and a region semifinal upset of Wesley Chapel.
Izzy Gould, Times staff writer