Bobcat Baseball Team Holds Senior Recognition

Photos by Stephanie Brinkley – Above: Bobcat Seniors (L-R) Dawson Smail, son of David and Jami Smail; Eli Rudesyle, Jeff and Dana Rudesyle; Devon Lauer, son of  D.J. And Bev Lauer; Tanner Miller, son of Rick and Tricia Miller; Dauntae Girvan, son of Nathan and Tracy Girvan; Bryce Brinkley, Jason and Stephanie Brinkley.

The Clarion Area Bobcat Baseball Boosters honored the Seniors and their parents with a special Senior Recognition prior to the Bobcats’ game with Moniteau, at Clarion County Park, on Thursday, May 9th.

The Bobcats were victorious and clinched the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference Championship with the win.

Stephanie Brinkley shared this summary about the festivities:

Each mom was given a rose made from a baseball, crafted by Deb Watterson.

Special baseball rose for moms, crafted by Deb Watterson (close-up).

Baseball Rose, crafted by Deb Watterson (Full length view).

Each senior was escorted by their parents while Coach Rob Jewett introduced them followed by reading information filled out by the player including their favorite food, what they enjoy doing outside of baseball, their favorite memories of baseball, future plans following graduation and advice for the younger players. 

The game was played through the rain with Clarion winning 10-0 in 5 innings. 

We then gathered in the pavilion following the game. Coach Jewett again talked about each player and their strengths and what they bring to the team, before giving each senior a wooden bat engraved with the school name, their name and jersey number, and “class of 2024”.

Commemorative Bat from BWP Bats

That followed with pizza, snacks and drinks.

Coach Jewett shared this this about the 2024 Seniors with Clarion Sports Zone:

Each senior got a team bat with their names on it to remember their time with the Clarion Baseball team.

I talked about each senior and their accomplishments.  

Dawson Smail set just about every hitting record in Clarion baseball (I don’t know exactly which ones though).  Played the hardest position on our team, which is short stop at County Park (he has the broken nose to prove it!).  Team captain for the past 2 years.  Worked real hard every year to get better.  He has consistently hit over .500 the past 3 years. He is the best player this district has seen in a long time.  He will do great things at Xavier next year!

Bryce Brinkley became one of the best center fielders in our district.  He gets tremendous jumps and tracks down so many baseballs.  He does a great job of getting the ball in fast to the cutoff man.  He has been involved in many throw outs from the outfield.  He is the best bunter I have ever coached!  He has worked hard at his hitting and it has shown as he is batting over .400

Tanner Miller has really improved his pitching.  He worked really hard in the offseason.  He has put 5-8mph on his fastball and his offspeed is much sharper.  His command has gotten much better as well.  Tanner is one the best pitchers in the league this year.  He is also one of the best left fielders with great speed and jumps, and is hitting really well with power.

Devon Lauer is having his best season at the plate this year.  He is batting over .400 and has added a lot of power to his swing.  Devon is one of the smoothest fielders I have ever coached.  He has great instincts when the ball is hit and good range.  He can play anywhere on the field with confidence.  He is the returning D9 pitcher of the year and having a great year on the mound.

Dauntae Girvan has been one of my best clutch hitters.  He always seems to get a clutch hit when we really need it, or gets a rally started.  He does a great job not dwelling on past mistakes and moves on like nothing ever happened.  He does a really good job in right field and has a very strong arm.  He had a great year on the mound as well.

Eli Rudesyle works hard everyday at practice.  He is a great teammate with an amazing attitude.  He has made such an improvement at his fielding at 3rd base.  He has worked hard at his hitting and has become much better.  He has a great attitude and always eager to play baseball.

(Congratulations to Dawson, Bryce, Tanner, Devon, Dauntae and Eli, your parents and your Clarion Area Bobcat Baseball Family!!!! Thank you to Stephanie Brinkley for her summary and photos and Coach Jewett for his comments!!)