By Mike DeFabo
Times West Virginian
For a minute, Austin Norman thought about giving up.
The Fairmont Senior quarterback had just suffered a gruesome football injury, a broken fibula and dislocated ankle that was severe enough to turn his foot almost entirely backwards.
The Polar Bears’ football season was essential over without their signal caller, and Norman thought that maybe his entire athletic career might also be finished.
“After that injury I talked about just going to college and going to school and being done with everything,” he said. “But I had a goal. That was to play baseball and play collegiately.”
A metal plate, a handful of screws and countless hours of rehab later and he was back on the baseball field where he belted 12 home runs, drove in 48 runs and hit .418 to go along with a 1.35 ERA and 89 strikeouts.
For his success on the diamond, the Marshall commit was named captain of the Class AA All-State team, as voted on by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
“I put in a lot of hard work in the offseason,” Norman said. “A lot of time in the weight room. A lot of time in the cage. A lot of time throwing. And it paid off.”
The hard work also paid off for 14 others who were named to the first team.
The pitchers of the team are Herbert Hoover’s Tristan Fields (8-0, 1.21 ERA, 76K), Fairmont Senior’s Bailey Mohr (7-1, 1.25 ERA) and Wyoming East’s Josh Zeboskey (8-1, 73K).
Robert C. Byrd’s Colton Bonnet batted .499 with nine doubles and 25 steals to earn the spot behind the dish.
Ravenswood’s Devon Crews batted .510 with nine home runs to lead all infielders. He is joined in the infield by Independence’s Wyatt Adkins (.486, 7 home runs, 10 steals), Sissonville’s Jacob Fisher (.471, 46 steals) and PikeView’s Austin Cordell.
Outfielders are Norman, Ritchie County’s Dylan Frye and Wayne’s Cody Stiltner (.453, 27 steals).
Filling the utility slots are Oak Glen’s Vincent Haddox (.475, three home runs), Poca’s Noah Frampton (.404, five home runs), Wyoming East’s Christian Hedinger (.564, 22 doubles) and Bridgeport’s Tyler Skidmore (.426, 36 RBI).
Infielder William Copley of Chapmanville was chosen as the captain of the second team. He’s joined in the infield by second-teamers Johnny Kesling (Fairmont Senior), Joe LaRocca (Bridgeport) and Heath Burgess (Ravenswood).
Sam Aloi (Bridgeport), Trey Dalton (Chapmanville) and Brian Sexton (Independence) were selected as second-team pitchers.
Sissonville’s Dominic Walker was picked as the second-team catcher.
Shawn Dotson (Herbert Hoover), Anthony Bonamico (Bridgeport) and Jake Payne (Poca) are the outfielders.
Rounding out the team are utility players Cody Bowen (Herbert Hoover), Tristan Thompson (Chapmanville), Andrew Hughart, (Independence) and Hunter White (Herbert Hoover)
Class AA All-State teams
CHARLESTON – The 2014 Class AA All-State baseball team, as voted on by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
P Tristan Fields, Herbert Hoover, Sr.
P Bailey Mohr, Fairmont Senior, Sr.
P Josh Zeboskey, Wyoming East, Sr.
C Colton Bonnett, Robert C. Byrd, Sr.
IF Wyatt Adkins, Independence, Sr.
IF Devon Crews, Ravenswood, Sr.
IF Austin Cordell, PikeView, Sr.
IF Jacob Fisher, Sissonville, So.
OF Austin Norman, Fairmont Senior, Sr. (captain)
OF Dylan Frye, Ritchie County, Sr.
OF Cody Stiltner, Wayne, So.
UTIL Vincent Haddox, Oak Glen, Sr.
UTIL Noah Frampton, Poca, Jr.
UTIL Christian Hedinger, Wyoming East, Sr.
UTIL Tyler Skidmore, Bridgeport, Sr.
P Sam Aloi, Bridgeport, Jr.
P Trey Dalton, Chapmanville, Jr.
P Brian Sexton, Independence, Sr.
C Dominic Walker, Sissonville, Sr.
IF William Copley, Chapmanville, Sr. (captain)
IF Johnny Kesling, Fairmont Senior, Sr.
IF Joe Larocca, Bridgeport, Jr.
IF Heath Burgess, Ravenswood, Sr.
OF Shawn Dotson, Herbert Hoover, Sr.
OF Anthony Bonamico, Bridgeport, Sr.
OF Jake Payne, Poca, Sr.
UTIL Cody Bowen, Herbert Hoover, Sr.
UTIL Tristan Thompson, Chapmanville, Jr.
UTIL Andrew Hughart, Independence, Jr.
UTIL Hunter White, Herbert Hoover, Sr.
Eli Kucherawy, Roane County; Dalton Holcomb, Clay County; A.C. Caldera, Bridgeport; Al Johnson, Philip Barbour; Chuck McCloy, Grafton; Logan Smith, Bridgeport; Jaylen Bartley, Liberty-Harrison; Mikey Perry, Wayne; A.K. Snyder, Lincoln; Tanner Colley, Robert C. Byrd; Kodie Bowen, Wayne; Alex Swiger, Oak Glen; Keegun McCollough, North Marion; Jacob Bolander, East Fairmont; Mikey Perry, Wayne; Brad Huffman, Independence; Mitch Viakely, Weir; Jake Lacek, Liberty-Raleigh; Austin Canada, Wyoming East; Hunter Moses, PikeView; Meechie Brown, Liberty-Raleigh; Jeremy McGinnis, Independence; Josh Landis, Sissonville; Will Larch, Weir; Zac Porter, Oak Glen; Caleb Spencer, Mingo Central; Brent Bigley, Chapmanville.
Seth Cottrill, Ritchie County; Thomas Sturm, Ravenswood; Hunter Hamrick, Lincoln; Jonathan Kreyenbuhl, Liberty Harrison; Greg Smith, Bridgeport; Saige Cline, Philip Barbour; Hunter Fain, Bridgeport; Caden Wetzel, Robert C. Byrd; Tyler Weiss, East Fairmont; Travis Smith, North Marion; Todd Slone, Mingo Central; Dylan Keel, Liberty-Raleigh; Carter Shrewsbury, PikeView; Jordan Atkins, Liberty Raleigh; Caleb Brown, James Monroe; Drae Hutchens, Summers County; Breyer Morgan, Westside; Matt Chandler, Poca; Joel Ridenour, Herbert Hoover; Kenny Allen, Mingo Central; Nick Brumfield, Chapmanville.