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Port Neches-Groves, Memorial & Nederland softball student-athlete standouts earn all-district honors

Softball players from Port Neches-Groves, Memorial and Nederland were selected to the All-District 21-5A team.

PNG’s Madeline Cormier was named Defensive Player of the Year, while Nederland’s Ava Wiltz took home Utility Player of the Year.

PNG coach Taylor Harvill said she is proud of her group.

“They definitely put in the work all season long to get those awards,” she said. “I am proud to see the stats they put up and for the other coaches to think that they deserve those titles.”

Harvill said Cormier was solid behind the plate all year.

“She was a strong catcher (in 2020) but COVID cut that short,” Harvill said. “She came out this year, her senior year, and really gave it everything she had. She did everything. She kept everything in front of her and did everything I could ask of her. She let me know when the pitchers weren’t hitting their spots. She did everything she could to help us when games.”

Nederland pitcher Sydney Nelson was named to the all-district first team and teammate Tori Morrison earned a position in the outfield along with PNG’s Sadie Shrestha.

“She was like a vacuum in the outfield,” Harvill said of Shrestha. “Of course, her bat was always there for us when we needed it. She was a great leadoff for us in the lineup. She always worked hard and was there for everything she needed to be there for.”

Memorial seniors Demeria Anderson and Markel Chretien were honorable mentions along with Nederland’s Reis Bennett and Kynslee Harris and PNG’s Emily Vines and Brylie Dartez.

Out of the 16 local players named on the all-district teams, 10 will return to play next year.

“The fact that five out of seven of our players that were named are coming back next year, I am excited to see where we go,” he said. “With us being so young this year and gaining the experience this year, we will only grow next year. It is going to be great to see. Our district is extremely completive, so when you win any award, it is definitely an accomplishment.”

PNG’s Vivien Thames, Kylee Moody and Jakeyla McDaniel were named to the second team with Nederland’s Chesney Wright.