LBWCC athletes get awards
Ryan Barnes couldn’t have done anything without his teammates this season.
The LBWCC sophomore and Huntsville native was named the Southern Division Player of the Year by the Alabama Community College Conference. Barnes was chosen from other players in the southern division.
“It feels great,” Barnes said about winning the honor. “I got to give thanks to all my teammates. I wasn’t the only one out there. I had a lot of guys back me up.
“It was a good season,” he said. “Wish we could’ve won it.”
Barnes led the Saints with a .404 batting average. His on-base percentage was .462, and his slugging percentage topped at .570 to lead the team.
He knocked in 48 RBIs, hit 19 doubles, scored 33 runs, walked 10 times and had 13 strikeouts in 151 at bats this spring. He also played 45 games this season.
The Saints’ first baseman grew up in Huntsville and has played baseball since he was 5 or 6 years old. Barnes started playing serious baseball in middle school, then moved to travel ball for some time before playing for Class 6A Huntsville High School for four years.
After his freshman year, Barnes said he wanted to focus on baseball.
“I was playing football also at the time,” he said about his freshman year. “I kind of just realized that I like baseball a whole lot more. I decided to focus on it from there.”
LBWCC head baseball coach Steve Helms was also named the Southern Division Coach of the Year.
Like Barnes, Helms gave all the credit for the award to the players.
“The coach of the year award is not a reflection of you, it’s of your players,” Helms said.
Helms added that Barnes was a worthy recipient of his award.
“He had an outstanding year,” Helms said. “We’re very proud of him.”
Barnes also was named to the All-Region 22 second team and All-South first team.
Other than Barnes, Trey Chambers of Mobile was named to the All-South first team; Alex Stevens of Pensacola, Fla., was named to the All-South first team; and Trevor Maxey of Mobile was named to the All-South second team.
“It’s a great honor for them to get these awards,” Helms said.
Chambers finished with a .369 batting average, tallying 58 hits on 157 at bats in 44 games this year. Stevens, at pitcher, finished with a 2.48 ERA, allowing 35 hits and striking out 54 batters in 54.1 innings. Maxey finished with a .306 batting average and had 19 RBIs on 41 hits in 43 games.
In softball, LBWCC’s Kaitlynn Wiggins and Tiffany Taylor, who are Andalusia natives, were named to the All-South second team.
Wiggins finished with a .306 batting average, tallying 37 hits and scoring 21 runs for the Lady Saints.
Taylor hit 15 RBIs and had 28 hits this season for a .322 batting average.
Barnes said this year was a special one because of the team chemistry that was built as the season progressed.
“Whenever we’ve been down and faced adversity, we’ve been able to fight back and overcome it,” he said.
Getting mentally tough and physically strong in the off season also contributed to the Saints’ success as well, Barnes said.
“It was a great year,” Barnes said. “I want to thank God for it, and my family and teammates and coaches. Without them, I couldn’t have done it.”
Barnes is the son of Chris and Pam Barnes of Huntsville. He has committed to play ball at the University of Alabama at Huntsville.