After watching his team lose to The Meadows in the Class 2A Southern League final on its own field, Needles baseball coach Ken Parker was anxious to see how his players would respond.
He got the answer in the form of a second straight 2A state championship.
“We fell short on the (league), but at some point, some time, every team stumbles,” Parker said. “Whether a team rebounds or not is a sign of the team you have.”
Needles recently was rewarded when coaches voted on the 2A all-state team.
Sophomore shortstop Bobby Stahel was voted Most Valuable Player, and Parker took Coach of the Year.
Needles also had the Most Valuable Players in softball with teammates Lexi Baldwin and Alex Chandler sharing the honor.
The Mustangs (24-6) had four other players named to the baseball first team.
First-team honors went to senior pitcher Stevie Kidd, senior center fielder Darra Russell, freshman third baseman Matt McAndrews and sophomore second baseman Andrew Mathews.
The headliner in the group is Stahel, who batted .762 with five home runs and 56 RBIs this season.
“It’s phenomenal that he was able to keep that (average) and not let intentional walks and things get to him and start pressing,” Parker said of Stahel, who joined the team this year after moving from Mohave Valley, Ariz.
“I didn’t really have a doubt that he was going to vie for that (award). The kid’s an exceptional student. He’s a role model, exceptional citizen.”
The first team is rounded out by The Meadows’ Garrett Gosse, Pershing County’s Dylan Bloyed and Craig Nelson, Whittell’s Alex Potnick and Silver Stage’s Jared Roberts.
Along with Baldwin and Chandler’s shared softball MVP honor, the Mustangs also had Gena Chavira, Amy Bailey and Haley Laswell named to the first team.
Coach of the Year went to Lincoln County’s Pat Kelley.
The first team is rounded out by Lincoln County’s Jaycie Cluff, Kori Gloeckner, Beth Pearson, Tera Tibbitts and Michelle Wheatley, White Pine’s Alicia Searle, Battle Mountain’s Felycia Itza and Satcia Jones, Pershing County’s Michelle Montes and Alyssa Holland and Silver Stage’s Alysha Merrell.