Rarely does a Coast Union student athlete make The Tribune’s All-County second team, given the number of big high schools and the many talented players throughout the county. But the Broncos’ MVP (and Coast Valley League MVP) Lane Sutherland has received that honor for the quality of his play in 2016.
Sutherland led the Broncos with a .455 batting average, 30 hits, 23 runs scored, seven doubles and a home run. He also led the team in on-base percentage (.507), slugging percentage (.606), and stolen bases (16).
Coach Brian Machado said Sutherland “Brings us up a level with his play, that’s for sure. It’s going to be one of those hard spots to fill.”
The coach praised the leadership Sutherland provided at the catcher position, his strong arm that nailed would-be base stealers, and the fact that “he swings the bat well and hits the ball hard.”
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He was fun to be around, but at game time he was focused and inspired us to focus as well.
Will Stephenson, Coast Union first baseman on Lane Sutherland
Asked to share his thoughts on what Sutherland meant to the team, sophomore first baseman Will Stephenson said that Sutherland “brought intensity to the game and demanded that we focus.”
“His intensity made us want to play at our highest level,” Stephenson said. “At practice he demanded excellence, and it forced us to step up. He was fun to be around, but at game time he was focused and inspired us to focus as well.”
Junior shortstop Auggie Johnson said that when the younger players knew Sutherland was behind the plate or batting, “we knew that our odds of winning were much greater. He inspired a lot of us to get better at baseball. He was encouraging as a teammate and never blamed others for their faults.”
Sutherland is enrolled at Cal Poly for the fall quarter and is considering trying to make the Mustang baseball team as a walk-on.
Special to The Cambrian