Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

June 7, 2014

It’s ‘academic’

Valdosta’s Tefft earns all-region scholar-athlete honor

VALDOSTA — Daniel Tefft not only led Valdosta High on the diamond.

But the senior also led the Wildcats — and all of Region 1-AAAAAA — in the classroom. In addition to being named to the all-region first team, Tefft also was named the region’s Academic Player of the Year after earning a 4.0 GPA during his high school career, as well as never missing a day of school ever.

“He’s been a leader hitting and has been a leader off the field,” Valdosta coach Bart Shuman said about Tefft last month when the team’s lone senior signed to play at Mercer. “He’s the total package and he’s just a great role model for our kids and our school. We need more kids like Daniel Tefft in this country.”

At that point, Tefft had hit .420 with four home runs and 27 RBIs. During Valdosta’s run to the state quarterfinal round, Tefft added two home runs, including one in his final at-bat.

Tefft wasn’t alone, though, in helping the Wildcats return to the playoffs as the region’s third seed. Junior pitcher Austin Lieupo also earned all-region first-team honors after serving as the Wildcats’ ace most of the season before missing time with an injury. He returned late in the season, helping Valdosta’s push into the postseason.

The Wildcats’ other starter in region games, sophomore Seth Shuman, was one of three VHS players on the all-region second team. Shuman, who also played shortstop and third base, became the Wildcats’ ace following the injury to Lieupo and threw a complete-game shutout against McEachern in the second round of the playoffs as he allowed just two runs in 21 innings during the postseason.

Sophomore second baseman Logan Stephens and junior shortstop David Posas were also second-team selections for the Wildcats.

While Lowndes missed the postseason, the Vikings still were well-represented on the all-region team with senior outfielder Nick Higginbotham and senior pitcher Corey Pope both on the first team. Senior catcher Cole Bradley was a second-team choice.

The Vikings also had Mason Miller and Henry Hoff earning honorable mention accolades, while Valdosta’s Brennan Goodson was an honorable mention choice.

Other individual award winners were Coffee’s senior infielder Keegan McGovern as the region’s Hitter of the Year, Tift County senior Deviner McCray as the Pitcher of the Year and Coffee’s Josh Cole as the Coach of the Year after the Trojans won the region championship. The Blue Devils finished second and Colquitt County earned the fourth and final playoff spot.

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