When your local high school baseball team rings up 23 victories against just seven losses and misses advancing to regional competition by nothing more than a whisker, plenty of things went right that season.
If you analyze the Northview Knights 2003 season, you can point to a squad that simply wouldn't give up. A pitching staff that was overlooked by nearly everyone and came through with flying colors. You can look at a group of seniors that helped make the transition for the team's newcomers that much easier. But most of all you can look at the team's hitting abilities. While you can single out nearly every player for instances of clutch hitting this season, you don't have to go any farther than Brady Shoemaker to find one of the best.
The Northview High School junior-to-be was recently awarded Honorable Mention All-State for 4A schools by the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches' Association.
Shoemaker did nothing less than tear up opponents for a team-leading .465 batting average (40-of-86) and tied for the team-lead with six homeruns. He scored a total of 30 runs for the Knights who averaged 8.5 runs per game. He added nine doubles and a pair of triples which helped translate into a team-leading .826 slugging percentage and a .591 on base percentage.
On the defensive side of the ball he allowed just four errors during the season.
Other awards for Shoemaker included All-Conference (Western Indiana Conference) and "Most Improved Varsity Player" by his Northview coaches. He was also considered for "Offensive Player of the Year Award" by Hoosier Diamond Magazine.
While the Knights came up just short of advancing through the sectionals, hopes are high for next season because of a strong returning nucleus of players that can all swing the bat.