Several South Callaway Bulldogs were recognized by the Show-Me Conference this week for their accomplishments this season.
Junior Jacob Lallier was the only all-conference selection and made the second team, but sophomores JT Thomas and Jacob Martin and freshman Dane Daughtery were honorable mentions.
The Bulldogs carried 14 underclassmen this year, who were getting their first varsity experience this year after a season lost last year to the pandemic. The team finished with a 10-19 record this year, following a five-year stretch from 2015-19 where it finished each season with at least 20 wins and won a state title in 2017.
South Callaway head coach Heath Lepper said Lallier received little varsity experience as a freshman two years ago but was the team leader this season.
"Being a catcher, his position tends to be a natural leadership position, but his play and work ethic definitely solidified that distinction," Lepper said.
Daughtery and Thomas were two of the Bulldogs' most important arms this season, Lepper said. Daughtery was the team's "most effective pitcher" leading the team in wins, and Thomas was one of the "pitching workhorses" leading the team in innings.
South Callaway's season ended in the first round of the district tournament with a 3-2 loss to North Callaway after scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and stranding the tying run at second base. Thomas started the game and Daughtery relieved him, pitching 5 innings. Combined, the two limited the Thunderbirds offense to give the Bulldogs a chance in the seventh. Lallier drove in two runs in that game.
Martin recorded two hits during that game. Lepper said an offensive performance like that from Martin is normal but looks forward to what he can do on both sides of the ball in the future.
"Martin led our team offensively but struggled with injury which limited what he could do defensively," Lepper said.
These aforementioned players also appeared on the Class 3 District 8 team with Daughtery notching a first-team selection, Lallier and Martin securing second team and Thomas receiving an honorable mention. Freshman Ryan Lepper also made the second team while fellow freshman Owen Rees earned an honorable mention.
Lepper and Rees were great utility players for the Bulldogs, Coach Lepper said. Lepper played every position except catcher and right fielder, ranking near the top on the team in hitting and pitching the fourth-most innings. Rees played five positions in the field and had the third-most innings pitched.
Coach Lepper said the team went through some growing pains this season but are capable of improving much in the future.
"With the strength of schedule which these guys played this season, they have gained an enormous amount of experience, and they have matured a lot from the start of the season," Lepper said. "The entire team takes great pride in their work ethic and are already preparing for next spring."