Riggs, Rivers receive top state honorsPublished 7:55pm Saturday, July 12, 2014
This is the first year that the Virginia High School League has produced all-state honors in addition to the Virginia High School Coaches Association, and Nansemond River High School had baseball players selected by both organizations.
The VHSL only selected a single 14-man Group 4A all-state baseball team, but it included junior shortstop Kieton Rivers and senior outfielder Trevor Riggs.
“I think it’s awesome,” Warriors coach Mark Stuffel said. “Those guys worked really hard, they had great seasons, and it’s nice to see that they were rewarded for the work they put in.”
Both players also made the VHSCA’s all-state first team at their respective positions.
Stuffel said it was pretty neat for them to make the inaugural VHSL all-state team.
This is the first year either Riggs or Rivers has received state recognition, and they were the first Nansemond River players to be named at the state level since Brandon Lowe made the first team in 2012.
Of making the VHSL’s 14-man cut, Rivers wrote in a text message, “It’s a great honor to be announced on this team.”
Since last year, he said, he knew he had to enhance his game in every way, especially on defense.
“That was my goal for this year, to be the kid on the field who ‘wowed’ coaches and players,” he said. “To be that standout player, my coaches and teammates dedicated the time and support in order for me to be where I am with all the awards won this year.”
When responding to the VHSCA honor, Rivers cited Lowe, a star shortstop from NR’s past, as inspiration and motivation.
“I look up to Brandon Lowe,” Rivers said. “I wanted to follow in his footsteps and do the things that he did for the school.”
Rivers had the best batting average for the Warriors this year among batters with at least five at-bats, batting .484 in 64 at-bats. He also led the team with 31 hits, 17 singles, 34 runs scored and 19 stolen bases.
He tied for the team lead in doubles with Trevor Riggs, as both had nine.
Riggs, who had a .444 batting average, led the Warriors with four home runs, three triples, 25 runs batted in and a .944 slugging percentage.
Of the VHSL’s recognition, Trevor Riggs stated in a text message, “I just want to say I am really excited that I made it. I want to thank Coach Stuffel, Coach (Tom) Lowe, Coach (Brian) Elms and Coach (Jason) Reed for everything they have done, for being there every step of the way!”
“It’s a great honor and also a great way to go out my senior year,” he continued. “Hopefully, I can make the same impact up here at Radford (University). Once a Warrior, always a Warrior!”
Warriors junior Robert Fitzwater was named to the VHSCA’s all-state second team as a pitcher.