The Daily Star's First Team, Second Team and Honorable Mention selections for the 2008 high school baseball season.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Philip Pohl

Cooperstown, senior, catcher/pitcher

Named Gatorade New York State Player of the Year; earned second-team spot as catcher on USA TODAY's national all-star team; and drafted in 44th round of Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft by Tampa Bay Rays, but opted to play for Division I Clemson University next season. ... First baseball player to receive Daily Star Player of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons since Oneonta High's Mike Connolly in 1999 and 2000. ... Appeared in "Faces in the Crowd" segment in a recent edition of Sports Illustrated. ... Center State Conference Division II MVP for second straight year.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Mike Clark

Edmeston, third season

Guided Panthers to a 20-3 record that included Tri-Valley League and Section Four Class D championships, despite having five junior starters in the lineup. ... Often throws batting practice in the mid-80s, which proved beneficial for Edmeston hitters. ... Panthers have advanced to Tri-Valley and sectional finals in each of his three seasons as coach. ... "It's been a baseball community for a long time," Clark said. "We've always had kids come out for the team who are good athletes." ... Coached three Daily Star First Team All-Stars this past season in Matt Laymon, Jordan Williams and Alex Stevens.

FIRST TEAM ALL-STARS

Matt Laymon

Edmeston, senior, pitcher/first baseman

Left-hander did it all for the Panthers this past season, hitting a team-high five home runs to go with 28 RBIs and going 11-1 on the mound with a 1.34 ERA. ... "He was a threat on the hill and offensively, with his hitting," Edmeston coach Mike Clark said. "But his biggest asset is he's a fierce competitor." ... Also hit six triples, walked a team-best 19 times and finished with a .384 average. ... Mixing a live fastball with a sharp-breaking curve, Laymon struck out 108 and walked 34 in 62 1/3 innings. ... Received interest from Division I Vermont, but likely will attend Herkimer County Community College. ... Clark said Laymon has not decided if he'll play college baseball.

Alex Stevens

Edmeston, junior, catcher

Hit a team-best .463 and led Panthers with nine doubles in helping them to Tri-Valley League and Section Four Class D championships. ... Drove in 25 runs and had a .522 on-base percentage. ... Also made impact defensively with strong arm behind the plate. "He kept runners at bay," Edmeston coach Mike Clark said. "I think when you're watching a team warm up and you see someone like Alex, it makes you think twice about running." ... One of five junior starters the Panthers will have back next season. ... Hit walkoff, three-run homer in Edmeston's 10-7 non-league victory over Hancock on April 14.

Jordan Williams

Edmeston, junior, pitcher/first baseman

Perhaps the hardest thrower in the Tri-Valley League this season, Williams struck out 83 over 55 2/3 innings en route to a 6-1 record and a 1.76 ERA. ... "He's definitely going to be our ace," Edmeston coach Mike Clark said of next season. "He'll be a force to reckon with in Section Four next year. I can't imagine another pitcher being better than him." ... Relieved teammate Matt Laymon in the fifth inning of Edmeston's 6-1 Class D state quarterfinal loss to Rome Catholic and faced the minimum seven batters over 2 1/3 scoreless innings. ... Also hit .288 with three home runs and 18 RBIs. ... Second straight Daily Star First Team All-Star selection.

Luke Burns

Delhi, junior, shortstop

Coming off a sophomore season in which he hit .429, Burns went 38-for-77 (.494) with 18 extra-base hits. ... Had 11 doubles, four triples, three home runs and a team-best 27 RBIs for the Bulldogs. ... Reached base 59 percent of the time and had 17 steals in 18 attempts. ... "He's not a quiet out anymore," Delhi coach Fred Barkalow said. "When he hits it, he hits it hard and uses the whole ballpark." ... Of his play at shortstop, Barkalow added: "He has good range, a good arm and is very fluid. He was very consistent this year." ... Finished the season with 12 consecutive scoreless innings on the mound.

Kyle Palmer

Unatego, senior, pitcher/infielder

Earned second straight selection to Daily Star's First Team after going 6-2 on the mound and hitting .396. ... Had 85 strikeouts against 37 walks in 61 innings en route to a 3.21 ERA. ... Offensively, had seven doubles, five triples, two homers, 35 runs and 28 RBIs for the Midstate Athletic Conference champions. ... "The thing about Kyle, the three years I coached him in football and baseball, he was the utmost competitor," Unatego coach Frank Microni said. "He's always begging to stay in. If he's getting roughed up, he keeps bearing down and tries to get outs. It's hard to find a high school player who can do that." ... Plans to play baseball at Herkimer County Community College.

Kyle Liner

Cooperstown, sophomore, utility

Led Redskins in hitting with a .426 average, no small feat considering he played alongside 2007 Daily Star and Class C State Player of the Year Philip Pohl. ... Also tied Pohl for team lead in home runs with four. ... Pitcher also played shortstop, third base, second base, outfield and catcher this past season. ... "He's a young man who's very much like Phil in that he's a very team-oriented person," Cooperstown coach Frank Miosek said. ... Also had 20 RBIs, scored 18 runs, stole 11 bases and went 3-1 on the mound. ... Led the Center State Conference in hitting. ... Had three hits in Cooperstown's 5-4 victory over Oneonta on May 20.

Markus Delello

Sidney, senior, CF/3B

First-time Daily Star All-Star finished with six doubles, seven triples, two home runs and 27 RBIs in helping the Warriors to a 15-10-1 record. ... "If we had a fence out there, he probably would have had seven to eight home runs," Sidney coach Kyle Vibbard said. "Some of the doubles or deep flyball outs would have been homers if we had a fence." ... Had a .394 average and stole 15 bases. ... Contributed a triple and a two-run homer during an 11-run fifth inning that helped Sidney to a 23-7 victory over Unadilla Valley on April 27. ... Three-year varsity player plans to play next season at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. ... Finished second in class academically. ... Played hockey for Binghamton Junior Senators.

Matt Marcewicz, junior, catcher

His .391 batting average included two strikeouts in 82 plate appearances for the 16-6 Yellowjackets. ... "Strikeouts are an easy out, because the defense doesn't have to do anything," OHS coach Joe Hughes said. "We say you should have more walks than strikeouts and Matt did that. He was a tough out." ... Led team with nine extra-base hits, including two homers and three triples. ... Had team-high 27 RBIs and scored 23 runs. ... Had three hits and drove in three runs in Jackets' 9-6 victory over Susquehanna Valley on April 30. ... Homered, doubled and had five RBIs in 7-5 win over Windsor on May 2. ... Bounced back from severe knee injury last season.

Andy Dickson

Oneonta, senior, 2B/3B

Team-high 30 hits included five doubles and one triple. ... "Last year, he was a role player, but this year was his breakout year," OHS coach Joe Hughes said. "Probably through our 22 games, he was our most consistent player from Game 1 to Game 22." ... Second on team in hitting with a .405 batting average. ... Struck out six times in 84 plate appearances. ... Also second on team with 27 runs. ... Steady fielder made six errors in 65 chances. ... "He didn't settle in at one position," Hughes said. "That shows his versatility, because he could play anywhere in the infield." ... Went 3-for-3 with two doubles in a 7-4 victory over Chenango Forks on April 9.

Greg Mudge

Hunter-Tannersville, senior, P/SS

Triple-threat for Wildcats went 8-2 on the mound, hit .500 and made two errors all season. ... "The kid is just a rare talent, especially for a player his size," H-T coach Jeff Friedman said of the 5-foot-9 Mudge. ... Struck out 87 and walked 22 in 61 1/3 innings. ... Had a 3.92 ERA in helping H-T (14-4) to a Delaware League championship. ... Thirty hits included 11 doubles, a triple and a home run. ... Drove in 24 runs and scored 24 times. ... Struck out twice in 69 plate appearances. ... A two-time Daily Star first-teamer in basketball who graduated as program's all-time leading scorer. ... Also played golf for the Wildcats.

SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS

Jack Benjamin, Oneonta sr.

Jeff Wiltsie, Oneonta jr.

Lane Potter, Oneonta sr.

Alex Hendrickson, Unatego sr.

Chet Davis, Unatego jr.

Andy Wood, Sidney sr.

Trent Kathmann, Delhi sr.

Chris Mead, Walton jr.

Jesse Bright, Stamford sr.

Dan Many, South Kortright jr.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Jim Fort, Cooperstown; Mike Bluy, Unadilla Valley; Josh MacDonald, Walton; Brian Engel, Bainbridge-Guilford; Casey Mohrien, Afton; Jacob Snyder, Afton; Gabe Miller, Jefferson; Ben Sharib, Jefferson; Steven Hubbard, Roxbury; Eric Burns, South Kortright; Jeremy Hanselman, South Kortright; Ryan Megnin, Hunter-Tannersville; Brian Conine, Margaretville; Mike Iacono, Windham; David Adams, Cherry Valley-Springfield; Adam Halay, Cherry Valley-Springfield; Nick Davoulas, Edmeston; Cody Hall, Gilbertsville-Mount Upton; Logan Griffiths, Milford; Joey Nelson, Worcester; Larry Jankowski, Oneonta.

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