Rivers leads NR honorees
Published 10:48 pm Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Nansemond River High School’s baseball players drew nine of the 14 all-conference first team selections, led by junior short stop Kieton Rivers, who was named Ironclad Conference baseball Player of the Year.
“It’s an honor,” Rivers said. “It feels good to be conference Player of the Year for the first time the conference has had a Player of the Year.”
He struggled to come up with an explanation for why conference coaches voted for him, but he said there was a particular part of his game that really stood out this year.
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“Base running,” he said. “I like to base run, I like to throw people off guard. That’s just what I do.”
He stole 15 bases during the regular season for the 18-2 Warriors, but he also had other impressive offensive numbers. In 54 at-bats, he produced 26 hits, including eight doubles, two triples and a home run. He had 18 runs batted in and 27 runs scored.
Except for at-bats, triples and home runs, he led his team in every one of the above categories.
He also carried a batting average of .481, a slugging percentage of .759 and an on-base percentage of .575.
Nansemond River head coach Mark Stuffel said, “I think when you see us play, he’s such a big part of the defense, he’s such a big part of our offense, he is a terror on the bases. It’s hard to see our team without seeing him play. He’s just that type of player — very athletic, very noticeable.
For his junior year, Rivers said, “I thought I exceeded my goals,” particularly when it came to fielding.
“He’s worked very hard to be better defensively,” Stuffel said. “Everyone says he’s an outfielder; he had to prove that he’s an infielder. And he’s done a fairly good job of doing that.”
Rivers committed only seven errors during the regular season, which he said was much lower than last season. He deflected the credit for this to Stuffel and his assistant coaches, Tom Lowe and Brian Elms.
“If it wasn’t for those three coaches, I’d be in the same boat as I was last year,” he said. “They helped me out a lot.”
He also highlighted his teammates, in addition to his coaches, when he said, “They motivate me on to continue to do well throughout the season.”
Among those teammates making the all-conference first team was junior Robert Fitzwater, named both as a pitcher and a catcher.
The other first-team selections included senior first baseman Shane McCaw, freshman second baseman Jarrid Johnson, senior third baseman Chase Williams, senior pitcher Mike Parmentier, senior outfielder Trevor Riggs and sophomore designated hitter Matt Holt.
Lakeland High School’s first-team selections included senior catcher Tyler Lilley and senior outfielder Jefferson Knight.
King’s Fork High School’s first-team selections included junior outfielder Duke Santora and junior utility player Cal Bailey.
Nansemond River second-team selections included senior outfielder Shane Woods and sophomore outfielder Wil Davis.
King’s Fork second-team selections included freshman first baseman Blake Sargent, senior pitcher Truman Boyd, junior catcher Cal Bailey, junior outfielder Kalev Henry and freshman designated hitter Ricky McCleod.
Nansemond River senior Hunter Kiessling and Lakeland freshman Jordan White received honorable mention.