1A SOUTHERN LEAGUE: Player of Year Hansen overcomes injury, delivers title for Panthers

Doctors wanted to operate on Pahranagat Valley baseball star Chase Hansen’s right shoulder after the Panthers had played about a third of their 2010 season.

But the sophomore shortstop played through a torn labrum and bone spur that had bothered him since last year, and he did more than just take the field.

Hansen led Pahranagat Valley (24-2) to its first Class 1A state title since 2001. He was recently voted 1A Southern League Player of the Year by coaches.

“He’s been in pain every day, but he put the surgery off until the Monday after state baseball because he wanted to play,” Pahranagat Valley coach Brad Loveday said. “I can’t even put it into words as to how much he meant to our team.

“If he would have left our team, it would have totally changed the dynamics.”

Hansen led the Panthers with a .673 batting average and 27 RBIs entering the postseason, and earned praise as the team’s top fielder, Loveday said.

Hansen went 3-for-3 in the 9-5 state final win over Carlin on Saturday in Reno to help Pahranagat Valley finish the season on a 22-game winning streak.

Sophomore ace Kade Wadsworth, senior first baseman Brandon Miller, senior outfielder Dustin Poulsen and junior outfielder Jensen Jones also represented Pahranagat Valley on the all-league first team.

Second-team accolades went to junior catcher Kale Leavitt, freshman third baseman Tyler Higbee and sophomore outfielder Derek Hansen.

Coach of the Year went to Henderson International’s Mike Ostrowski, who helped the Wolverines overcome the school’s pending closure to finish 20-14 and win the first 1A state tournament game in program history.

The first team was rounded out by Lake Mead senior pitcher Drew Erickson, senior catcher Devin Serrano and junior third baseman Alex Uceda; Henderson International sophomore second baseman Charles Pachas and sophomore catcher Keenan Gladd-Brown in the utility spot; and Trinity senior outfielder Gage Neuwohner.

Second-team honors also went to Lake Mead senior pitcher Spencer Kowis; Henderson International sophomore pitcher Boomer Sherrill, sophomore shortstop Jay Sutorius and sophomore outfielder Cole Fouch; and Trinity junior first baseman Damen Cook, junior second baseman James Zaino, senior outfielder Jamil Thompson and junior catcher Avery Harden in the utility spot.