The rumor is Coach Bickerton is already looking forward to next spring. Now July, Bickerton and his ball club are a couple of months past finishing the greatest baseball season in Sharyland High School history.
For his efforts in leading the 28-2 Rattlers to a District 30-5A, Bickerton was not only named the district’s coach of the year but also the Valley’s best as well.
However, Bickerton was not alone on the All-Valley list, but accompanied by his top player, Eric Gutierrez and others such as Tres Barrera and Erik Garcia. Gutierrez was named the Valley’s top player while Barrera and Garcia were both named to the second team.
So why is Bickerton excited for next year? Because two of his All-Valley recipients are returning to the program next year, including Gutierrez and Barrera. Gutierrez just completed his junior year and Barrera his sophomore. And, of course, Bickerton is hoping the two can help the Rattlers defend their district championship and help the team make a deep playoff run.
Sharyland was not the only squad to have representatives on the All-Valley list. La Joya had one showing in outfielder Noel Munoz. The senior batted a .333 average and, defensively, recorded a fielding percentage of .964.
Perhaps the player who received the greatest recognition also came out of nowhere. Veteran Memorial’s second baseman Desi Villarreal was given first team all-district honors in 32-4A, second team All-Valley honors and, finally, was honorable mention all-state. Of the six local teams, Villarreal was the only to garner at least honorable mention.
In addition to their selections on the all-district and All-Valley lists, local players were also put on the rosters for the RGVBCA All-Star Game. Joining Gutierrez, Barrera, Garcia, Munoz and Villarreal on the West Team, were Palmview’s pitcher Joe Marquez, La Joya’s Edgar Flores, Gabriel Barrera, Lee Ramirez, Sharyland’s Brian Valencia, Fernie Martinez, Oscar Gonzalez and Mission’s Alex Quintero.
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