After each compiling special seasons for the Manhattan High baseball team this spring, Bret Fehr and Jesse Steinbring are drawing national attention for their accomplishments.
The two were named to the 2014 Louisville Slugger High School All-America team, joining an exclusive club of just three other former Indians to be honored with the award.
Fehr was named to the All-America first team as one of 12 outfielders in the country. The Wichita State signee hit a team-leading .427 for the season and led the team in triples (6), home runs (3), RBI (23), runs (30), hits (32), walks (17) and steals (16). He finished with a .538 on-base percentage and slugged .800.
“Bret was definitely the most exciting player in the state, in my opinion,” Manhattan head coach Don Hess said. “He combines speed with power, and that’s kind of rare for us. He did everything we asked of him, his season got better and better as he went, and we’re real proud of everything he’s been able to accomplish here.”
Steinbring was named to the All-America second team as one of 13 pitchers recognized. He finished the year with a 9-1 record and a 0.90 ERA while striking out a team-leading 68 batters and walking just 14. His WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) was a team-leading 0.750 and opponents batted just .150 against him over his team-leading 60 innings.
The junior has one more year at Manhattan High before thinking about his future in baseball.
“Jesse, he came to work everyday,” Hess said. “He came and he competed every single time that he took the mound for us. He was as consistent as you could be. I think nine wins is a school record, so he was great every time he took the mound for us. He’s very athletic and is an extremely hard worker.”
This marks the second time Manhattan has had two players from the same team named All-Americans. Kurt Giller and Blair DeBord each made the list in 2009. Jake Carlson is the only other Indians to make the list, doing so in 1998.
“The fact that it’s happened twice is pretty rare, because that’s great company,” Hess said. “Jake Carlson in 1998 and then Blair and Kurt, who went on to have great careers in college, too. It’s quite an honor. It just doesn’t happen very often, so the fact that we’ve had two of these, twice, is pretty amazing.”
Players are nominated for the list by coaches, then the staff at Collegiate Baseball magazine votes on the team.
The two Manhattan products join elite company nationally, as all 10 of the high school players drafted in the first round are on the All-America list.
“If you look at the list of players, there were quite a few of them that were drafted very high,” Hess said. “It’s a pretty good representation of the quality of baseball in the high school ranks right now. So it’s very exciting.”
Fehr and Steinbring led Manhattan to a third-place finish at the Class 6A state tournament in Lawrence in May while totaling the most wins in school history, finishing with a 22-3 record.