Larry Butcher/For The Herald-Dispatch Fairland's Reilly Sowards (10) looks for a block against Athens during a high school football game Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, at Fairland High School in Proctorville, Ohio.

ROME TOWNSHIP, Ohio - Fairland athlete Reilly Sowards is busy these days.

A football player and baseball player for the Dragons, Sowards will suspend his football workouts to compete in the Ohio Southeast District All-Star Game Monday at 2 p.m.

Sowards will be a shortstop and pitcher on the south team which will take on the district's North team at Chillicothe's Paint Stadium. A first-team all-district selection, Sowards said he was excited to get to play in the game.

"I found out a week ago when my coach called me and told me," Sowards said. "It's an honor."

Sowards' coach, Michael Hill, was named Coach of the Year by the other coaches in the southeast district so he will have the honor of coaching Sowards in the doubleheader.

"I'm grateful to my team and coaches," Sowards said. "They made this all possible.

The senior-to-be hit .267 on the season with five doubles, a triple and eight RBIs in all 27 games for the Dragons including the Division III district semifinals.

However, it was on the pitcher's mound where Sowards was most effective.

While starting 11 games Sowards led the Dragons with 56.0 innings pitched and had a 4-2 record while walking 15 batters and striking out 51 on the season and posting a team-best 2.50 earned run average.

"He had some arm problems last year so we started him out on some workouts that really helped him," Hill said. "He continued those workouts and became a really good pitcher and a really solid shortstop."

Hill said Sowards is his first player he's coached to be selected to an all-district team and talked about the honor of coaching his own player along with 30 others on his roster.

"He's excited and I'm excited," Hill said.

Among the other players on the Southeast District's South team will be fellow Ohio Valley Conference players Logan Hankins of Rock Hill, Ethan Duncan of Ironton and Drew Smith of South Point.

Vinton County's Ash Abele, Athens' Nate Trainer, Waverly's Tucker Tackett, Jackson's Brice Graham, Oak Hill's Bayley Clutters, Wellston's Hunter Cardwell, Meigs' Wesley Smith are among other players on the South roster.

Wheelersburg features three players on the team in Trey Carter, Connor Mullins and Jalen Miller. Portsmouth Clay and Green each placed two players on the all-district team.

Clay Cottle and Dakota Dodds earned spots for Clay while Taylor Carver and Tanner Kimbler made the team for the Bobcats.


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