Francis leads MHS in baseball honors

By Joel Jellison

Manhattan High’s Derek Francis earned a number of honors for his season.

The shortstop and pitcher for the MHS baseball team was named first-team All-State infielder by the Kansas Association of Baseball Coaches, and received Centennial League Player of the Year and firstteam honors.

He is the second player to earn league POTY, as Garrett Hess did it two years ago.

MHS coach Don Hess said Francis had a good season and career for the Indians.

“I think that he would have rather been an all-state infielder than a pitcher, but he was very deserving,” he said. “He has been a part of our program for four years and he is deserving of everything he has received.”

Francis joined a number of teammates in earning All-State honors, as Brooks Lindsay and Brooks DeBord each got second team nods, while Taylor Hilgers and Trey Francis received honorable mention.

Hess said that group of guys were steady for his team all season.

“Brooks and Brooks finished their seasons well, they were both hot and hit the ball well at the end of the year” he said. “Trey and Taylor were both just really solid throughout the year, it could happen to a better group of guys.”

Derek Francis, DeBord, Lindsay and outfielder Chris Turner were named first-team all-league. Trey Francis, TJ Giller and Hilgers made the second team, while Chad Fiser, Chris Klug, Josh Klug, Josh Mullin and Jake Priddle earned honorable mention.

Hess said the individual success this season says a lot about what the team accomplished, making it to state and finishing fourth.

“Our guys work hard all year and for them to have those honors speak well to them individually, but also as a team,” he said. “We accomplished a lot of things and I always tell them you don’t have to worry about the individual stuff. If you play well as a team, there will be glory, but they all had a good year.”

Francis will suit up for the KABC All-Star game on Wednesday at Tointon Family Stadium. He will play college baseball at Iowa Western next year.

The All-Star game will feature two contests, starting with Red vs. squad at 1:36 p.m. The second game will feature Purple vs. Black, and starts at 4:30. The games will be televised on Cox Channel 22. Francis will be playing for the White team.

Participants for the All-Star game were made, based on KABC selections as All-State players.

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