Somerset All-County Baseball Team Announcement

The 2022 Somerset All-County Baseball Team was recently announced. County coaches, with the exception of Somerset Area High School, vote for first- and second-team, honorable mention, MVP and coach of the year honors.

Senior Windber Cole Strick was chosen MVP while North Star freshman coach Jake Klukaszewski won coach of the year accolades.

“I’m truly honored to be voted MVP,” Strick said. “I thank all my coaches and the county coaches for that.”

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Strick hit .554 with a .964 hitting percentage. He produced 31 hits, including 12 doubles, one triple and three homers. Strick had 19 RBIs and 27 runs scored. He also stole 10 bases.

“The pitchers were all really good in the (WestPAC) North,” Stick said. “Cayden Turner and all those pitchers have been tough. I went to home plate, feeling confident knowing I was going to put the ball in play.”

The Mount Aloysius College rookie helped the Ramblers score 11-9 and advance to the Class 2A District 5 Semifinals. Windber was a tight-knit unit that helped Strick and the Ramblers succeed.

“We have all been successful this season because we were a team,” he said. “Everyone was part of that team aspect and everyone was on the same page.”

Strick was a leader that Windber head coach Dan Clark leaned on throughout the year.

“We’re really proud of the player and young man Cole has become,” Clark said. “He’s been a starter for us since he was a freshman, played in multiple positions and played them all well. For him to have the success he’s had this season, battling multiple injuries, is a testament to the work he’s done in the offseason. He’s a player in every sense of the word.”

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Meanwhile, Klukaszewski guided the Cougars to a 15-5 record. North Star fell to Everett in the Class 2A District 5 Championship Game. The Cougars won 11 of the last 12 games, including a forfeit, before falling to the Warriors. It was a memorable season for the freshman coach.

“It was humbling,” Klukaszewski said of being voted coach of the year by his peers. “Some of these guys are already in the County Hall of Fame and some of them are well on their way. To be in a room with them and to be mentioned in the same breath is one thing, but to be nominated by them and voted to be Coach of the Year is something completely different It’s not something I intended to do but for it to happen and come to fruition is a very big honor for which I am very blessed .

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Klukaszewski turned a ball club that was 7-12 a year before. The Cougars only had four seniors on their roster. However, the underclasses have rallied together to show that the future is bright for North Star baseball.

North Star coach Jake Klukaszewski talks to his team during a non-conference baseball game against Richland May 3 at Peoples Natural Gas Field in Altoona.

“First and foremost, I give all the glory to God. He gave me the opportunity and the blessing to be named this guy. Second, it’s a team award. These guys came and worked hard every day. I tried to be a sponge to my assistant coaches, Doug Smethurst and Bob Turner. Players like Cayden Turner, Connor Yoder and Andy Retassie have really grown this year. The players have stuck to a new program. They made my job easier. For us to be able to change the program, it really required teamwork.”

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2022 Somerset All Counties Baseball Team

first team

Caleb Leonard, Berlin Brothersvalley, Sr.; Pace Prosser, Berlin Brothersvalley, So.; Brady Kist, Conemaugh Township, Sr.; Tyler Weber, Conemaugh Township, Jr.; Cayden Turner, North Star, So.; Connor Yoder, North Star, So.; Jack Pletcher, Rockwood, Sr.; Andrew Weaver, Rockwood, Sr.; Ian Fox, Shanksville-Stonycreek, Jr.; Ty Walker, Shanksville-Stonycreek, Sr.; Joe Reynolds, Windber, Jr.; Cole Strick, Windber, Sr.

second team

Craig Jarvis, Berlin Brothersvalley, So.; Jackson Byer, Township of Conemaugh, Sr.; Larry Weaver, Conemaugh Township, So.; Tanner Shirley, Conemaugh Township, Jr.; Ryan Sechler, Meyersdale, Jr.; Andy Retassie, North Star, Sr.; Carson Modrak, Rockwood, Sr.; Johnathan Felesky, Rockwood, Jr.; Carson Brown, Rockwood, France; Christian Musser, Shanksville-Stonycreek, So.; Lucas Oleksa, Windber, Fr.; Andrew Scalia, Windber, So.

Honorable mention

Carson Webreck, Berlin Brothersvalley, Sr.; Cory Jose, Berlin Brothersvalley, Jr.; Aiden Prior, Conemaugh Township, Jr.; Bradin Schrock, Meyersdale, Fr.; Braden Kretchman, Meyersdale, Jr.; Garrett Huszek, North Star, Sr.; Tim Tretter, North Star, Sr.; Braden Livingston, North Star, So.; Glendon Griffith, North Star, So.; Aaron’s Show, Rockwood, So.; Luke Beahr, Rockwood, Jr. David Leipchack, Shade, So.; Blake Marek, Shade, Jr.; Zion Manthey, Shanksville-Stonycreek, Sr.; Isaac Jamison, Shanksville-Stonycreek, So.; Kameron Kemp, Turkeyfoot, Sr.; Zack Ryan, Turkeyfoot, Fr.; Aiden Gray, Windber, Sr.

Adam Ripple is the sports editor of the Daily American. He can be reached at 814-444-5926. Follow him on Twitter @ARipple_DAsport. Follow Daily American Sports on Facebook and @dailyamericanmedia on Instagram.

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