Is District 19-4A the most competitive and balanced in the Houston area? With the recent announcement of 12 District 19-4A players to the 2014 All-Houston preseason first and second high school baseball teams and five teams in the top 20 preseason poll, one could make the argument.
Three of the district's five teams made it to the state playoffs last season. The Dayton Broncos (20-11, 9-7)finished 2013 in a tie for fourth in District 19-4A return nine starters, three of whom were named to the All-Houston preseason team. Kevin Roe, the dominant Broncos right-hander returns for his senior season. Tim Wehmeyer and Brad Sowell round out the trio for Dayton. The selection of these three marks a first for the Broncos. Head coach Bobby Little's Broncos are ranked fifth in the Houston area 4A preseason poll.
"Tim, Brad and Kevin are three major pieces of our puzzle and why we had success last season. These three guys have set a great example of work ethic and character and are part of a whole group of special players that make up our team. We, the staff and team are proud of these three young men," said Little. "The Dayton community should be proud of them and our team as a whole."
The Kingwood Park Panthers (25-9, 12-4) an area baseball finalist finished second in District 19-4A in 2013 placed three more players on the All-Houston preseason team. Seniors Jonathon DuCoff, Nick Benedict and Jordan Powell return to lead a Panthers team that set 15 offensive records last season.K-Park head coach Bruce Cox was excited to have this senior trio representing the Panthers.
"We are honored that three of our guys are represented on the All-Houston preseason team," said Cox. "DuCoff a first team all-district shortstop hit over .400 last season and the Baylor University signee is a projected top five round draft pick. Powell, another first team all-district player hit .391 and is a multi-talented outfielder. Benedict is a powerful bat in out line-up and we are expecting great things from this honorable mention all-district player."
The Barbers Hill Eagles (29-3, 16-0) and the district's top team in 2013 had two players named to the first team. Kaleb Denny and Logan LyDay return to lead this season's David Denny team.
The Summer Creek Bulldogs (19-12, 11-5) finished third in District 19-4A in 2013. This season the team returns 10 players from last year's squad including All-Houston preseason selections CJ Jackson and George Gonzalez. The Bulldogs big man behind the plate, Gonzalez hit .275 his junior season finishing among the team's top five offensive sluggers in nearly every category. Jackson was an RBI machine driving in 17 runs on 16 hits while batting .421.
The Crosby Cougars (16-13, 9-7) finished in a fourth place tie in the district in 2013 placed junior Hunter Hearn and centerfielder Mario Sequera on the All-Houston preseason team. Hearn and Sequera combined for 15 of 29 with 12 RBI's, 12 walks, and seven runs scored against just two strikeouts leading Crosby on a season ending surge into the 2013 state high school playoffs winning four of their final five games.
On paper District 19-4A looks pretty formidable but that's why they play the game. Come late April, we'll have a much better picture of how competitive District 19-4A baseball is to any other 4A district in Texas but for now suffice it to just say "Let's play ball."
NOTE: The complete All-Houston preseason list can be viewed at www.houston5abaseball.com
Follow Louis on twitter @ sportsguy409