Flores Named 16-5A MVP; Akridge Named Newcomer Of The Year

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It was quite a career for Alex Flores, who spent her four seasons with Lufkin leading the Lady Panthers from an also-ran among softball teams to one of the elite teams in the state. Those efforts didn’t go unnoticed as she was recently named the 16-5A MVP. While she capped off her career by being named the district’s best player, freshman Leah Akridge showed the future is still bright for the Lady Pack as she was named 16-5A’s Newcomer of the Year. Those superlative honors highlighted Lufkin’s all-district picks, which included four first-teamers and four second-teamers for the district champion Lady Panthers. Flores, who will be headed to McNeese State in the fall, was a force both in the pitching circle as well as the mound for the Lady Panthers. Akridge, a third baseman for the Lady Panthers, was a versatile player for the Lady Panthers to earn her award as Newcomer of the Year. She went through the non-district and district slate without being caught stealing on the basepaths. In addition to those players, Lufkin had four players named to the first-team squad. Jasmine Ibarra, Reagan Jordan, Sara Mayes and Yami Valdez were each named to the elite squad. Ibarra, a sophomore, earned her honor at shortstop as the team’s leading power threat. Mayes, another sophomore, earned her honor both for her bat and her play at catcher behind the plate. Yami Veldez, a sophomore second baseman, also picked up her honor by being a vital part of the Lady Pack’s hitting attack. Jordan, a senior outfielder, had a batting average over .500 to round out Lufkin’s four first-team selections. Lufkin’s honors didn’t stop there as four other Lady Panthers were named to the second-team. Amber Griffith, Cailee Hendrick, Julie Armes and Christa Radke were each members of the second team. Griffith, Hendrick and Armes earned their honors as position players, while Radke, who had plenty of key moments in the circle, earned her honor at pitcher. Samantha Padilla rounded out Lufkin’s all-district picks with an honorable-mention selection. In addition to those honors, Lufkin showed it is no slouch in the classroom as two players were named to the academic all-state team while seven were named to the academic all-district teams. Members of the academic all-state team must have a 90-plus grade point average for their four years in high school. Academic all-district performers are required to have 90-plus averages for the 2015-16 school year. Amber Griffith and Reagan Jordan were named to the academic all-state team. Academic all-district members from Lufkin are Leah Akridge, Amber Griffith, Cailee Hendrick, Jasmine Ibarra, Reagan Jordan, Sara Mayes and Julie Armes. Following is a complete list of all-district selections.
MVP: Alex Flores, Lufkin.
Offensive Player of the Year: Madison Pond, Corsicana.
Defensive Player of the Year: Victoria Caldwell, Whitehouse.
Pitcher of the Year: Chelsea Vandiver, Corsicana.
Newcomer of the Year: Leah Akridge, Lufkin.
Utility Players of the Year: Hannah Know, Lindale; Maggie Beard, Whitehouse. First-team
Lufkin’s Reagan Jordan, Jasmine Ibarra, Sara Mayes, Yami Valdez, Whitehouse’s Mahayla Mitchell, Sierra Stone, Brittany Taylor, John Tyler’s Christy Perez, Chaq Nobles, Corsicana’s Skyla Kirk, Jada Woodley, Carley Cates, Lindale’s Allie Thompson, Sarah Valdez, Katie Rodriguez, Nacogdoches’ Madi Anderson, Hadley McKnight. Second-team
Lufkin’s Amber Griffith, Cailee Hendrick, Julie Armes, Christa Radke, Whitehouse’s Kelly Burns, Sarah Womble, Kaylee Miller, Jacksonville’s La’Dashia Canady, Maggie Lucky, John Tyler’s Kennedy Timms, Ja’Shae Collier, Corsicana’s Mariah Garcia, Gracie Griffin, Lexie White, Nikki Barton, Lindale’s Michiela Walker, Lorin Reve, Jode DeHart, Nacogdoches’ Taylor Williams, Sheet al Bapu. Honorable mention
Lufkin’s Samantha Padilla, Whitehouse’s Bailey Dennis, Elizabeth Sheppard, Jacksonville’s Winter Hammons, Kenze Rawlinson, Hannah Holcomb, Lindale’s Emily Aubuchon, Cailynn Widmon, Nacogdoches’ Alexa Page, Lauryn Brasher, Sheika Washington.

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