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Monday, May 2, 2016

Northview grads propel Olney to title game

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Wayne King photos

(Top) T.J. King hit .296 and scored 31 runs for the Blue Knights and Brady Shoemaker was the Freshman of the Year for Olney Central.

Just one year ago, Northview graduates Brady Shoemaker and T.J. King were excelling at the high school level for the Knights.

This school year, the pair took their talents to Olney Central Junior College and helped lead the school to a berth in the Region 24 championship game as part of an impressive 45-17 baseball season.

Success on the baseball field is certainly not a foreign concept to either player.

Their senior season at Northview, the Knights recorded a school record 26 victories on the way to a semistate berth. The pair also helped Northview to an impressive 91-25 record in four years, a .784 winning percentage.

Shoemaker hit .466 for the Blue Knights this season, picking up 88 hits in 189 at-bats this year on his way to earning Freshman of the Year honors in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference (GRAC). He also drove home 88 RBIs over the course of the season and scored 68 runs from his cleanup spot in the order.

Shoemaker also was named to the All-GRAC team as well as the Region 24 team and the Region 24 Tournament Team.

He has also been nominated for the All-District and national teams as well.

"I thought Brady had an outstanding season. We always thought that Brady could hit," commented coach Dennis Conley. "From the start of the season he absolutely just pounded the ball."

King was also a key contributor to the Blue Knights, hitting .296 as the starting centerfielder. He batted 135 times this year and had 40 hits, scoring 31 runs while driving in 18 RBIs.

"T.J. had a very solid season for us," noted Conley. "He had a few bumps in the road during the year, but he was very important to the team."

The Blue Knights lost in the Region 24 championship game to John A. Logan College.

With another year of eligibility left, NCAA colleges have already begun to show interest.

"I think if Brady works on his arm strength his recruitment will take care of itself especially with the kind of numbers he's put up," said Conley. "We've already received some calls."

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