Four players named to all-state baseball team


SENIOR ACHIEVEMENT — Warrenton’s Hunter Sherman closed out his prep career by being named to the all-state first team. He batted .451 with 25 RBIs. Bill Barrett photo.
By: 
Jeff Stahlhut
Correspondent

Four local high school baseball players were named all-state for the 2021 season, including Wright City juniors Kyle Johnson and Ian Wolff as well as Warrenton senior Hunter Sherman and sophomore Kannon Hibbs. 

All four put up impressive stats on the season — both offensively and on the mound.

Sherman, Johnson and Wolff were all named to the first team. Hibbs earned an honorable mention selection.

Johnson hit .345 on the year with three home runs and 16 RBIs in 81 plate appearances. He also appeared in seven games as a pitcher with a 4-2 record, a 1.87 ERA and a complete game. 

“Being named all-state is a huge honor to me and I take a lot of pride in it,” said Johnson. “This was my junior year and our team really came together as a whole and we were able to accomplish a lot as a team as well. I couldn’t have been awarded this great honor without the help of God, my family, and my team.”

Johnson’s appreciation for the game and his accomplishments runs deep. 

“My biggest motivation and encouragement in the game of baseball is first of all, my faith. I play the game because I love it but also because it is a platform that I have to spread the goodness of God to anybody who sees me, through my actions on the field,” he said. “God has blessed me with the ability to play the game and I am thankful everyday. I also have to thank my parents for playing countless hours of catch with me and always being my biggest supporters no matter what.”

Wolff, who did most of his damage at the plate, batted .439 on the year in 87 plate appearances with 19 walks with only 10 strikeouts, stole 22 bases, hit six doubles, smashed five home runs, and had 23 RBIs. As a pitcher, he was 1-0 with one save and a 2.33 ERA in three innings pitched. 

“Being named all-state is a huge honor, and I’m blessed to receive it,” said Wolff. “This is an accolade I’ve had on my bucket list since I was in elementary school, and it’s surreal now that it’s a reality.”

Wolff has had several influences on his game growing up — including some Major League players. 

“I have many huge influences for this game,” he said. “My family and coaches who have supported me and helped me grow. I also look up to guys like Juan Soto and Shohei Ohtani, because they are playing at a level I strive to be at someday, and I love the way they play the game.”

Ryan Raterman, who coaches both Johnson and Wolff at Wright City, is very aware of just how talented the duo is. 

“Ian and Kyle’s season was very dominant,” he said. “I believe the numbers and the accolades speak to that — both being first-team all-conference, first-team all-district, and first-team all-state. They hit three-hole and four-hole for me all year and teams knew they were going to be a handful when they stepped into the box.”

Raterman also recognizes what an advantage it is to have both of his all-state players — and more — returning for one more season. 

“It has been a pleasure to coach these two young men the past three years. I have seen them grow not only on the field but off of it as well,” he said. “I am glad I get one more year with not only them, but their senior teammates. It is the group I started with here at Wright City and we have more guys to get on this all-state list along with a longer playoff run to make.”

On the Warrenton side, Sherman will continue his career at Jefferson College next season. For the Warriors, he posted a 2-2 record with one save, 22 strikeouts against only 11 walks, and a 2.91 ERA. At the plate, he hit .451 with 14 stolen bases, five home runs, and 25 RBIs in 98 plate appearances. 

“He was at or near the top of nearly all offensive categories in our conference and was in consideration for conference player of the year,” said Warrenton coach Eric Burle. “Hunter was our leadoff batter and as he went the team went. He played every game as if it was his last and showed our younger players the importance of playing the game the right way and playing the game as hard as you can between the lines.”

The recognition is something that is special to Sherman. 

“Being named all-state means a lot to me. It just shows that all the hard work in the off-season paid off,” he said. “It was a goal of mine since I came into high school and I’m glad I left my mark on this program and Warrenton sports.”

As he prepares to play at the college level, Sherman says that he’s grateful for the opportunity given to him by his parents and excited to see what’s in store. 

“My biggest influencers would have to be my mom and dad. Over the years, they have spent so much money for me to get the best training and the best gear to be able to perform at my best. And for that, I can’t thank them enough,” he said. “Next year, I am excited to begin my college career at Jeffco. This is a great program with lots of talent and I can’t wait to see what great things we can accomplish.”

Hibbs, meanwhile, put together a solid sophomore campaign. He batted .432 with 28 runs and 21 RBIs. Of his 35 hits, he recorded a team-leading 10 doubles.

On the mound, Hibbs compiled a 3-1 record in 10 relief appearances. He struck out 20 in 13 1/3 innings.

Kannon had an impressive sophomore season,” Burle said. “Kannon was at or near the top of most offensive statistics in conference play. He was a constant in the two-spot in our lineup and was a great compliment to Hunter Sherman at the top of our order.”

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