Cougars lauded with postseason honors
As Sunflower League champions, the Shawnee Mission Northwest baseball team appropriately was recognized as having some of the top players in the league.
Three of them also were selected as the state’s best after helping the Cougars to a 21-3 record and a third-place finish at the Class 6A state tournament.
Northwest seniors Adam Giacalone, Nick Feighner, Jake Thompson and Taylor Berthusen all were named to the All-Sunflower League teams for their consistent performance this season.
Giacalone was selected to the first team as both a first baseman and pitcher, while Thompson was chosen as a pitcher and Feighner was lauded for his glove work in center field. Berthusen earned a spot on the second team as a closer.
In addition, Cougar skipper Rich Kuzydym was named as the league’s Coach of the Year while Lawrence Free State junior Cody Kukuk was tapped as the Player of the Year.
Shawnee Mission North senior Will Maynard was the lone Indian named to the All-SFL squad. He was a second-team pick in the outfield.
The Northwest honors extended beyond the league as Giacalone, Feighner and Thompson also were named to the Class 6A All-State team by the coaches. Giacalone was a first-team pick at pitcher and also was chosen as the state’s Pitcher of the Year. He tossed two perfect games this season — the only two in Northwest history.
Feighner also was a first-team choice in the outfield. Thompson was a second-team pick at pitcher.
Kukuk was voted as the state’s Player of the Year.