BASEBALL: Webster Parish impact players for 2018

(Blake Branch/Press-Herald) Minden's Cameron Dollar takes a swing while North Webster's Kade Garmany awaits the outcome behind the plate. Both players are vital to their team's success in 2018.

Baseball season begins Feb. 19 statewide and this season could be special for several Webster Parish school who are returning talented, experienced upperclassmen.Those players will be tasked with bringing new faces into the fray and helping them shine in the spotlight of varsity baseball.

Last season was kind to Webster schools, as Minden, Glenbrook, Lakeside, North Webster and Doyline all made playoff appearances, with the Warriors making a run all the way to the Class 2A state championship game; North Webster also made a deep run.

All five schools have reasons to believe that greater things are in store this year, partly because of the guys on this list.

This is not a list of who is believed to be the best players in the parish, but rather those who are in the best position to impact their team by having a great or improved season. 

Minden, OF, Cameron Dollar

Dollar was only a sophomore in 2017, but the lefty played like a senior, hitting at or near the top of Minden’s lineup all season and tracking down fly balls with impressive range in centerfield. A strong offseason has only helped his game as he looks to transition into a leadership role for the Crimson Tide. Dollar could be a household name in district 1-4A by season’s end.

Lakeside, P/UT, Dalton Crumpler

Crumpler has pinpoint accuracy on the mound and Division I speed on the basepaths, making him the spark plug for a Lakeside team capable of returning to the state title game. He’ll likely slot in as the team’s ace unless someone else should arise, but his bat makes him a valuable commodity day in and day out for Will Gray’s Warriors.

Glenbrook, P/INF, Nick Mourad

Mourad has been a steady force in the Apaches’ lineup since his sophomore year. Now a senior, Mourad has a chance to prove he’s one of the parish’s best players despite the stigma that exists around MAIS competition. A hard-throwing righty with a big bat, look for the senior to put up huge numbers at the plate and the on the mound.

North Webster, P/INF Sawyer Howard

Howard picked up valuable starting experience last season and is expected to take a big leap in his junior season. He’s a talented pitcher and capable enough at the plate to get first-year North Webster head coach Austin Lay excited. The Knights will need his potential to be realized to make a run in Class 3A.

Minden, INF, Trevor McLean

It’s been almost two years since McLean was the star of the show at Glenbrook School as an eighth-grader. Now, still only a sophomore, McLean looks to prove his worth for the Crimson Tide. Following a successful season last year, expectations are a little higher for him to produce runs and RBIs while manning the second base spot for new Minden head coach Ben Bower’s Tide. If McLean can produce  in the range of a .350 batting average and 25 RBIs, Minden has a chance to challenge Benton for a district title.

Lakeside, INF, Jayke Stewart

Stewart was quietly one of the parish’s best hitters last season, but it will be hard to fly under the radar this season as he looks to fill the void in Lakeside’s lineup left by the departures of Jake Gray, Braydon Jones and Cameron Gray. The left-handed 2A all-state selection should do just fine in the spotlight thanks to the valuable experience gathered over the past two seasons. A .450 batting average is well-within his grasp.

Glenbrook, INF, Parker Christy

Christy makes tons of contact at the plate, finding himself on base more often than not, which says a lot in baseball. He also plays a pretty salty hot corner, having held down Glenbrook’s third-base spot for two years running. If the Apaches make a deep playoff run, it will likely be because of Christy’s play and leadership.

North Webster, C/UTIL, Kade Garmany

Garmany has a sweet swing and the type of pop that strikes fear in opposing pitchers. He’s improved behind the plate as well, serving as a wall for the Knights’ pitching staff. He has a plus arm as well. Garmany could be the next star in the middle of North Webster’s lineup.

Brett Thornhill, P, Doyline

First-year head coach of the Panthers Colby Martin will look to Thornhill in big games on the mound, with the righty already having emerged as the team’s go-to arm. Martin has praised Thornhill’s command of multiple pitches, something that should help the Panthers keep pace in Class B, despite a roster and program that are in rebuilding mode.

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