BSB: SLC Announces 1990's All-Decade Team
June 13, 2013
Southland Conference 1990's All-Decade Team
FRISCO, Texas – UT Arlington had six former Mavericks named to the 1990's All-Decade team. Chris Gay, Clay Gould, Karl Heckendorn, John Lackey, Matt Mize and Jose Rubiera were honored with a selection.
The Southland Conference, as part of its year-long 50th Anniversary commemoration, has announced its All-Decade Baseball Team for the 1990s. The team includes stars from its member institutions from the 1990 season through 1999.
A total of 56 student-athletes makeup the 1990s all-decade team, including honorees from nine of the 10 institutions in the league during that era. Northwestern State placed a league-high 12 student-athletes on the team while McNeese State had nine and Nicholls State had eight. Louisiana-Monroe had seven honorees followed by Texas-Arlington with six and Texas State and Sam Houston State with five apiece. Southeastern Louisiana and Texas-San Antonio each placed two student-athletes on the all-decade team.
"With a number of emerging programs, Southland Conference baseball in the 1990s maintained its level of competitive success and national prominence,” league commissioner Tom Burnett said. “Many of the greatest players in league history participated in this decade and went on to more success in the major leagues.”
Northwestern State’s Jim Wells was tabbed as the coach of the 1990s all-decade team. Setting the Northwestern State program on a successful course for the next two decades, Wells led the Demons to three Southland regular-season championships in 1991, 1993 and 1994, and an appearance in an NCAA Regional in 1994. His clubs were 192-89 (.683) overall and 64-38 (.627) in Southland play. He coached two Southland Players of the Year, a Hitter of the Year, two Pitchers of the Year and 15 first-team all-conference selections. After departing to take over the program at Alabama after the 1994 seasons, Wells’ three coaching successors all won more than 60 percent of their games through the 2002 season.
Among Wells’ all-conference players, seven found their way to the all-decade team, led by three-time all-conference outfielder Terry Joseph, who earned the honor from 1993-95. He was also tabbed as the league’s top player and hitter in 1995. Kyle Shade, the conference’s all-time career batting average leader (.427), earned a spot on the all-decade team after earning all-conference in the outfield in 1992 and 1993 while being named the player and hitter of the year in 1993. Other two-time all-conference selections include shortstop Troy Conkle (1992-93), third baseman Matt Donner (1994-95) and pitcher Reggie Gatewood (1993-94), who was tabbed was tabbed the pitcher and newcomer of the year in 1993. Wells’ other players on the all-decade team include outfielder Brian Carlin, an all-conference selection and the 1991 player and newcomer of the year, and all-conference pitcher Barry Shepherd, the 1991 pitcher of the year.
Other Demons on the all-decade team include shortstop Ryan Anholt, an all-conference pick who earned player and newcomer of the year honors in 1998; outfielder Josh Hoffpauir, who was tabbed top newcomer in 1997; pitcher Brian Lawrence, an all-conference selection in 1997 and 1998 and the player of the year in 1998; all-conference pitcher Adam Stout, the 1999 newcomer of the year; and, pitcher Skip Madden, who earned pitcher of the year honors in 1996.
Eight other players on the all-decade team were named player of the year, including McNeese State pitcher and former head coach Terry Burrows (1990), who was also tabbed pitcher of the year the same year, and outfielder Deron Hofstetter (1994), who earned hitter of the year honors in 1994; Texas State first baseman Gary Herman (1992), who was a two-time hitter of the year in 1991 and 1992; Texas-Arlington outfielder Clay Gould (1993), the namesake of the Southland Coach of the Year Award; Sam Houston State pitcher Stephen Prihoda (1994); Louisiana-Monroe outfielder Shannon Cooley (1996), outfielder Tommy Lewis (1997), who also earned hitter of the year honors in 1997, and pitcher Ben Sheets (1999), who was also the 1999 pitcher of the year and a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Gold Medal team; and, Texas State catcher Chad Spears (1997).
Additionally, Nicholls State’s Greg Gravois holds the conference career records for triples (19) and Southeastern Louisiana’s Macky Waguespack is the conference’s all-time career home run leader (56).
The Southland Conference will continue to recognize all-decade teams in the coming days.
Southland Conference 1990s All-Decade Team (1990-99; 56 players)
Coach of the Decade: Jim Wells, Northwestern State