Five Rattlers named as all district

William Thompson

The 2003-2004 District Four Class A-AA All-District Baseball Team was announced recently and five Tucumcari High School players made the list. District coaches voted for the players they thought were the best in district play.

Two seniors, Ray Johnson and A.J. Molinas, made the team. Molinas put up big numbers in district competition. His batting average was a staggering .643. Looking back on the season, Molinas did not want to talk about his high numbers. “The season was not about me,” said Molinas. “It was about the team. I’m happy that we made it so far and that I was able to help build a foundation for next year’s team.” Coach Mike Russell said Molinas’ playing days might not be over. “I’m going to talk to several different colleges on his behalf,” said Russell. “I think he has a chance to play college ball.”

Ray Johnson played only the second half of the season due to a lingering knee injury. Johnson said he was surprised to make all-district. “I didn’t think I would make the all-district team with my knee messed up so bad,” said Johnson. “What I will remember most about the season was that we won district, finished second in the regionals and we went to state.” Matt Braziel, John Sewell and Drew White also made the all-district team. Coach Russell said each of those three players contributed greatly to the Rattlers’ success. “John Sewell was probably our most consistent player over the course of the season,” said Russell. “He was 3-0 as a pitcher in district play, and he was always a good performer game after game.”

Matt Braziel was the anchor of the pitching staff, according to Russell. “Matt was our ace,” said Russell. “He had to face the opposing team’s best pitchers and he wound up 3-1 in the district. He, like John Sewell, was one of the quieter guys who produced a lot of offense for us. He was a big RBI guy for us.” Freshman Drew White posted high stats for a player so near to the beginning of his high school career. In addition to having a .520 batting average in the district, Coach Russell said White was solid in the infield.
“Drew was definitely a nice addition to our team,” said Russell. “He played a solid first base, and he will be a big part of our offense next year.” Russell said more postseason honors may be on the way for the Rattler squad.. “We are still waiting to see the all-state list,” he said.