SAN ANGELO, Texas — No. 7 Wall was in the middle of defending its Class 3A State Title when the University Interscholastic League (UIL) announced it was canceling the remaining spring sports and championships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Hawks were 12-3-1 overall and were one of five teams from Region I ranked in the top seven in the Pro Diamond/THSB 3A Top 25 Poll.
Brock (1), Bushland (2), Breckenridge (3) and Holliday (6) were the other ranked teams in the top seven.
“For our region, it was going to be fun to see how it all played out because of the top seven when the season ended,” Wall baseball head coach Jason Schniers said. “It was going to be a fun playoff run. We never got to play it out and I feel for our team. Going into next season, we will still be the reigning champs, and hopefully we will get the chance to defend it.”
Wall fielded five seniors on this year’s team: Luke Young, Caleb Heuertz, Colton Diebitsch, Mason Laney and Mark Melone.
“As juniors they contributed in big ways to help our program get to places it’s never been before,” Schniers said. “This year was their opportunity to be the leaders and let the underclassmen and the young guys kind of follow their lead.”
Young and Heuertz played a critical role in last year’s state championship season for Wall, the team’s first in program history.
“It for sure helps knowing that we won it all last year,” Young said. “But me and Caleb and Colton and all the senior guys really wanted to be there and help the juniors and try to get them there and show them what it’s all about.”
As a junior, Young was named 2019 Championship MVP after throwing six innings, allowing one run on three hits, striking out three and walking seven batters in Wall’s 2-1 win against Blanco in the Class 3A State Championship game.
Young said the news from the UIL was a tough pill to swallow, but it wasn’t a surprise.
“I kind of figured it would happen, but it was tough because our team this year was starting to catch a bond with each other,” Young said. “We wanted to see what our team this year can do because it was a completely different team from last year.”
Two Wall seniors have already signed their national letters of intent to play at the next level. Young and Heuertz inked their names to play at Midland College next year while the future is unknown for the other three seniors.
“Luckily, for Luke and Caleb those two guys are going to continue their careers at Midland College and so they still have baseball in their future,” Schniers said. “I really feel for the guys who won’t get another opportunity.”
The Hawks will have to shelf their Class 3A State Title defense and wait another year to see who’s the best in Texas.
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