Meet the Times Record's 2021 River Valley All-Area baseball team

Times Record Staff

Several members of Van Buren's 5A state championship team highlights the Times Record's River Valley All-Area baseball team covering the 2021 season.

The first six members of the first team All-Area squad are among the nominees for the baseball player of the year, with the winner to be announced during the River Valley Sports Awards presentation on June 28.

First team

Kent Carlisle

Southside, Jr.


Why chosen: Carlisle batted .449 for the Mavericks with six home runs and 20 RBIs. He also had nine doubles as part of his 31 hits.

Connor Johnson

Van Buren, Sr.


Why chosen:Johnson was a dominant force on the mound all season for the Pointers, recording a 14-0 record with a 0.77 earned run average, as he allowed nine earned runs in 82 1/3 innings while striking out 121 batters. He was also named the MVP of the 5A championship game.

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Landry Jurecka

Greenwood, Sr.


Why chosen: A Kansas State signee, Jurecka finished 6-2 with a 1.12 ERA. He struck out 96 batters and issued only 11 walks while helping the Bulldogs reach the 5A semifinals.

Braden Riggs

Spiro, Sr.


Why chosen: Riggs hit .592 with 11 home runs and 62 RBIs while scoring 54 runs. He also had an on-base percentage of .710.

Haden Roark

Van Buren, Sr.


Why chosen: As the team's leadoff batter, Roark did his part, batting .384 with a .466 on-base percentage. He scored 13 runs while driving in 23 more while also recording a .983 fielding percentage with 55 putouts.

Duke Walker

Paris, Jr.


Why chosen: Walker, a Missouri commit, hit .464 with five homers and 31 RBIs while stealing 20 bases. He also had nine doubles.

Rest of first team

Nate Brewer

Mansfield, Jr.


Why chosen: Brewer batted .596 with an OPS of 1.551. He had 53 hits, including 18 doubles and four triples, and stole 40 bases.

Eli Caldarera

Northside, So.


Why chosen: Caldarera batted .433 and had an on-base percentage of .600 while driving in 20 runs.

Tanner Callahan

Van Buren, Sr.


Why chosen: Callahan batted .321 with 11 doubles and 13 RBIs. He had the exact same numbers in on-base and slugging percentage (.422). On defense, he had a fielding percentage of .982 to go along with 242 putouts.

Jagger Dill

Poteau, Sr.


Why chosen: Dill hit .457 with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs while stealing 18 bases as he helped the Pirates return to the 4A state tournament.

Jacob Herrera

Booneville, Sr.


Why chosen: Herrera batted .412 with seven doubles in helping the Bearcats reach the 3A quarterfinals. He also scored 40 runs and drove in 41 more.

Conner Rodgers

Spiro, Sr.


Why chosen: Rodgers finished with a .491 average and a .607 on-base percentage while hitting five homers with 38 RBIs. He also went a perfect 28 of 28 in stolen base attempts.

Second team

Outfielder: Zebediah Allen, Southside, So.

Catcher: Chance Broussard, Booneville, Sr.

Outfielder: Caden Brown, Greenwood, Sr.

Infielder: Randall Claude, Mansfield, Sr.

Infielder: Isaac Cowett, Mountainburg, Jr.

Pitcher: Zayne Dugan, Mansfield, Jr.

Utility: Steffan Fak, Northside, Sr.

Pitcher: Devin Gattis, Van Buren, Jr.

Outfielder: Jaxon McTyre, Sallisaw, Sr.

Infielder: Paxton Pitts, Roland, Sr.

Infielder: Randon Ray, Booneville, Jr.

Infielder: Caleb Soller, County Line, Jr.

Coach of the Year

Luke Weatherford, Van Buren

Van Buren baseball coach Luke Weatherford watches as Sammy Seeger warms up after taking the mound in relief against Wister in the fifth inning, Tuesday, March 23, at the Field of Dreams in Van Buren.

Why chosen: Weatherford couldn't have asked for a better debut season at the helm of the Pointers. He helped guide Van Buren to an overall 27-7 record and the program's first state title when the Pointers defeated Jonesboro for the 5A crown.