MHSBCA selects 4 Paris baseball players to participate in All-Star Game at Lindenwood University


Tucker Gruber, Laine Forrest, Jon Turner and Coach Fible at the MHSBCA All-Star Game. Photo courtesy of Mike Fible.

This has been a huge year for Paris Athletics, and there is no exception when it comes to baseball. The team and players were so talented this year that four Paris Baseball players – Tucker Gruber, Laine Forrest, Jon Turner, and Briar Hancock – were selected to play at the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches All-Star Game.

The All-Star game took place at Lindenwood University in St. Louis, Mo. this past Saturday, June 11. The game consisted of 16 Senior players from all across the state. The teams were divided into East and West and played a total of 9 innings. Both teams had team members from Class 1 and Class 2 schools. Hancock was not able to attend, but having four teammates selected for the All-Star game is definitely a rarity.

“It’s extremely rare a team has so many [Seniors selected]. There were three teams that had more than two players at the game,” said Coach Fible, Paris being one of them.

Fible has been coaching the Paris Baseball team for five years, and this is the first time that anyone from Paris (let alone four) have been nominated under his coaching. Fible was also able to attend the All-Stars game as a coach.

Today, it was just announced that the team was named Class 2 Academic All-State, and had the second highest GPA with a combined 3.62.

“As a coach, you dream of having successful seasons, year in and year out. The past two seasons have been very successful for our program. It’s a very proud feeling when you play someone and they are well aware of the type of team you have. As a coach, it’s a very proud moment when coaches from teams compliment you on your team, individual players, and program.”

The players congratulate each other after the MHSBCA All-Star Game. Photo courtesy of Mike Fible.

The team, both varsity and JV, finished out the season 25-5-1. The team broke records left and right including single season team wins with 15, previously 12 wins held by the 2015 and 2008 teams, and the following single season individual records:

  • HBP (9) by Brett Miller, previously held by Tucker Gruber (7)
  • BB (17) by Briar Hancock, previously held by Brant Francis (14)
  • Fielding percentage (.994) by Briar Hancock, previously held by Paul Turner (.983)
  • Single season wins by pitcher (7), Jon Turner tied previous record by Collin Crook, previously held by Nathaniel VanBoening (5)
  • Complete games (6) by Collin Crook, previously held by Nathaniel VaBoening (5)
  • K’s (80) by Collin Crook, previously held by Nathaniel VanBoening (74)
  • Collin Crook tied Nathaniel VanBoening with 49.0 innings pitched

And career records:

  • Fielding percentage (.960) by Briar Hancock; Jon Turner also broke the record (.954), previous record held by Paul Turner (.936)
  • BB’s (35) by Tucker Gruber, previously held by Brant Francis (28)
  • HBP (18) by Tucker Gruber, previously held by Slater Stone

On April 23, the Coyotes claimed the title Champions of the Lewis and Clark Conference, which took place in Moberly, Mo. Paris took the #1 seed in the tournament and won against both Fayette and Westran, scores 9-5 and 8-3, respectively. Winning the conference championship had not been replicated by the Coyotes since 2011.

The team also placed second in the Class 2, District 5 championship on May 19, but were the #1 seed going into the tournament. Jon Turner, Laine Forrest, and Brett Miller were named to the 2016 Class 2, District 5 All-District Team.

Even though the season is over, Coach Fible is already looking forward to the 2017 season.

“I strongly believe the future is very bright for Paris Baseball. We definitely lost our fair share of talent, but I do believe we have the young players that are ready to step up and have another successful season. Players like Collin Crook, Brett Miller, and Jacob Wolfe will be the leaders of our future teams. I am excited to see what Paris Baseball’s future holds, I do believe it will be bright.”

He also added, “To have a successful program year in and year out it takes a lot of effort from many people. Paris is blessed to have such great support from not only the parents and community, but the baseball association.   Without the association and the hard work they do in the offseason, our program may not exist at all. To have a successful program it starts with the people outside the program, and Paris Baseball has the best supporting cast any coach could ask for.”

Below is the baseball promo from the beginning of the season. It’s amazing how far this team has come. I’m so proud to be apart of #CoyoteNation.