Bangs’ Newton, Early’s Ledbetter lead charge as Horns, Dragons combine for 14 all-district honors

Bangs’ J.T. Newton (left) was named the District 6-2A baseball co-MVP, while Early catcher J.W. Ledbetter (shown crossing the plate after a home run) was selected the 6-2A offensive MVP.

ne members of the District 6-2A runner-up Early Longhorns earned all-district honors, while five members of the area champion Bangs Dragons received accolades from the coaches of the league.

Bangs’ J.T. Newton shared the district’s MVP honor with senior Peyton Brown of Wall, the District 6-2A champion that eliminated the fourth-place Dragons in the third round of the playoffs.

Early senior catcher J.W. Ledbetter, who is bound for McMurry to continue his career, received the district’s offensive MVP honor.

Newton, who will continue his baseball career at Cisco Junior College, finished with a 7-2 record on the mound with a 1.60 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 78.2 innings, while batting .418 with seven home runs and 26 RBIs.

Ledbetter led the Longhorns in batting average (.451), on-base percentage (.567), slugging percentage (.671), home runs (2), RBIs (32) and doubles (10).

First-team selections for Early included senior pitcher Kellan Jackson, senior outfielders Tres Underwood and Jared Crouch and junior infielder Nick Alcorta.

Making the first team from Bangs were senior infielder Chuy Alvarado and senior utility player Brady Glover.

Second-team selections for the Dragons were senior first baseman Tanner Shaw and senior outfielder Daniel Malett, while senior outfielder Jake Fisher and sophomore infielder Abel Hernandez received the same recognition for the Longhorns.

Receiving honorable mention for Early were senior first baseman Stephen Hlis and junior outfielder Christopher Johnston. Bangs had no honorable mention recipients.

The Longhorns finished with a 19-7 overall record and 11-3 district mark under head coach Wayland Damron and advanced to the bi-district round of the playoffs. The Dragons finished 15-13 overall and 8-6 in 6-2A action under head coach Jim Bob Williams and reached the Region I-2A quarterfinals.