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Phillips leads CHS honorees

The Central High School varsity baseball team’s 2019 season came to a close in the first round of the Region 1B tournament, but junior Noah Phillips stood out so much this year that he was still named to the all-state first team as a designated hitter, drawing attention to a bright future for the Chargers that began to take shape this season.

Sharing his reaction to Phillips’ all-state honor, Central Head Coach Michael Atkins said, “Of course, I was very excited for him, very proud of him. Getting first team all-state as a junior, I thought, was fantastic. It was great for our program to have him. He was a great representative of our team and our program this season.”

Phillips finished the year with a .406 batting average, a .487 on-base percentage and a .594 slugging percentage. He recorded 17 singles, 10 doubles, one home run, 26 RBIs and 19 runs scored, and he drew seven walks.

Primarily the Chargers’ starting catcher, Phillips also made the All-Region 1B first team and the All-James River District second team as a designated hitter. He received all-district honorable mention as a catcher.

“And the great thing is he’s still got a lot of room for growth and development and improvement, and that’s a good thing,” Atkins said. “I’ve encouraged him to not be satisfied and to build on that.”

Chargers making the all-region second team included junior third baseman Mason Elliott, senior outfielder Jackson Dalton, sophomore utility player and outfielder Justin Elliott and junior first baseman and pitcher Austin Hall.

Hall had an injured shoulder that sidelined him as a pitcher for much of the year.

Central junior second baseman Ben Anthony received all-region honorable mention.

Chargers making the all-district second team in addition to Phillips were Hall, Anthony and Mason Elliott.

Dalton received all-district honorable mention as a pitcher and outfielder, Hall received it as a first baseman and Phillips received it as a catcher.

Central finished the year with an 8-13 overall record.

“We had a young group of kids,” Atkins said, “I started a freshman. When we got in the regional tournament, I put another freshman in the outfield, in the starting lineup. We had a couple sophomores, the rest juniors. So we had a young team, and so we kind of went into the season thinking it was going (to) probably be a rebuilding year, trying to establish the groundwork, the foundations of the standards and values and work ethic that we need to have to be successful. So it was a learning curve, I think, for all of us this season, but I think we’ve laid a good foundation, groundwork for next year.”