Spain Park’s Edwards named county’s Hitter of the Year

Published 5:46 pm Wednesday, May 31, 2023

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

In a year where nine players from Shelby County finished with a batting average above .400, it was one of the top offensive seasons in recent years for local players.

That success led to a strong year for local teams as well, but one bat finished highly in several different categories, earning him this year’s Shelby County Hitter of the Year award.

For the second year in a row, that honor went to Spain Park’s Cole Edwards.

After batting .421 last year with 32 RBIs, 29 runs scored and 21 stolen bases, Edwards improved on several of those categories during his senior season.

He finished inside the top six of every major hitting category this season and was the only player with that consistency.

Edwards finished the season with a batting average of .407, which finished sixth in the county, while he finished second in the county with 43 RBIs to earn high finishes in two of the biggest offensive categories.

In addition to that, he finished third in the county with hits after totaling 48, he tied for fourth in home runs with six and led the county in doubles with 17. He also stole 21 bases safely in 22 attempts to finish third in the county while finishing with 25 walks.

His success on the field helped lead the Jaguars to the Class 7A playoffs this season and a trip to the quarterfinals of the postseason where the Jags eventually fell to this year’s state champion Vestavia Hills.

Edwards’ season was important in helping Spain Park to finish this year 28-10 overall.

Finishing closely behind were teammate Matthew Widra, Vincent’s Zac Carlisle and Thompson’s Peryn Bland, who all finished highly in different categories.

Edwards’ consistent success in every category, however, was the difference in earning him this year’s award for the best offensive player in Shelby County for the second year in a row.