The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

June 9, 2014

4 local players make All-State baseball team

Murrell, Smith are 1A, 4A Coaches of the Year

By Jonathan Deal
jonathan@athensnews-courier.com

— While Cody Reed might dominate high school baseball’s post-season awards, there were other standouts in Limestone County this year. Along with Reed, East Limestone and Athens Bible placed players on the Alabama Sports Writers All-State teams, announced over the weekend.

ABS seniors Zach Ivey and Carter Corneil made the All-State in 1A while East Limestone’s Ben Rhodes was selected in Class 5A.

In addition to these local standouts, the Athens-Limestone area had two of the six All-State coaches in Classes 1-6A.

For leading their teams to state championship series, Bill Murrell of Athens Bible and Andrew Smith of Ardmore were named the 1A and 4A Coaches of the Year.

For Murrell, it was his 41st season as head baseball coach at ABS. The veteran coach led the Trojans to their first 1A title game since 2009, where they finished runner-up to St. Luke’s.

Smith was named the 4A Coach of the Year after leading Ardmore to the school’s first-ever state championship series. The third-year head coach went 9-3 in the playoffs and finished runner-up to defending state champion Charles Henderson.

Smith and Reed dominated the 4A ASWA honors with Reed being named Pitcher of the Year and Player of the Year, along with first-team All-State.

Ivey and Corneil were the two players selected from a deep and talented Athens Bible squad. Ivey played most of the season with a back injury but still managed a 9-3 record with a 2.04 ERA and 80 strike outs.

Corneil, an outfielder, posted a team-best .472 batting average with a .683 on-base percentage. The senior had 29 RBIs, nine doubles, seven triples and a home run.

Rhodes was selected as a designated hitter in Class 5A. The East Limestone left-hander played center field and pitched for the Indians, finishing with a .434 batting average.

A UAH signee, Rhodes led East Limestone with five home runs and 33 RBIs.