HCHS shortstop Dillon Sears throws on the run to record an out against Greene County in a 3-A district final game. Exira-EHK senior Drew Buckholdt pitches in relief against Coon Rapids-Bayard in the final Spartan game of the season.

Sears brothers lead cast of five area baseball all-staters

HCHS shortstop Dillon Sears repeats as first-team INA selection; Exira-EHK’s Buckholdt on third team

 DES MOINES -- Led by repeat first-team selection Dillon Sears, four players from Harlan Community and one from Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton have been named to the Iowa Newspaper Association’s 2017 All-State Baseball teams released on Tuesday, August 1.
 A committee of INA writers selected first, second and third teams for classes 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A, also naming four senior captains.
 This year’s HCHS all-state baseball players include 3A first-teamer Dillon Sears (sr., infielder); second-team selection Brett Sears (so., pitcher); and third-teamers Ryan Doran (jr., first base) and Joshua Cheek (sr., outfielder).
 Also recognized was E-EHK senior Drew Buckholdt, who was named to the Class 1A third team as an infielder.
 The 2017 all-state captains each hail from this year’s state championship teams: Johnston’s Jack Dreyer in 4A; Davenport Assumption’s Trenton Wallace (3A); Riley LeGrand of Beckman Catholic (2A) and Ben Fitzgerald of Newman Catholic, Mason City (1A). Dreyer and Wallace have both signed to play baseball at the University of Iowa.
 Harlan’s four all-state selections played a key role in the Cyclones following up last year’s 3A state title with a runner-up finish this season. The Cyclones (36-3 overall) set a school record for total victories, won a Hawkeye Ten Conference title (19-1) and extended the program’s streak of state tournament appearances to seven years.
 Dillon Sears and Cheek, who both played in 12 state tournament games over the last five years, were part of teams that went 148-33 (.818) over the last five seasons.
 Buckholdt, meanwhile, had a career year for the Spartans, who claimed the Rolling Valley Conference championship and finished 22-2 overall. Exira-EHK was 93-24 during Buckholdt’s five-year career.

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