By Ryan Divish
Havre Comet head coach Bob Evans recently held a team awards banquet for his American Legion baseball squad.
The Comets capped a successful season with a pair of scintillating wins in the Northern District and almost earned a berth to the Class A state tournament.
Pitcher/infielder Jeff Tibbals earned rookie of the year honors. Tibbals batted .341 in the lead-off position and drove in 24 runs while picking up four wins on the mound for the Comets.
"Jeff played wherever he was needed," Evans said. "He pitched, played third and shortstop. He's just a hard worker."
Centerfielder Jordon Patterson was named the team's most improved player. Patterson batted .358 with 29 RBIs while playing solid defensively and filling a big role in the outfield.
"Jordon was good defensively," Evans said. "He really improved not only his defense, but his offense."
Catcher/designated hitter Patch Wirtzberger finished as the team's leading hitter. Wirtzberger hit a solid .449 with 31 RBIs while also being among the team leaders in hits, runs scored, on-base percentage and sacrifices.
"Patch just had a great year at the plate," Evans said.
Trent Normandy finished as the team's top pitcher. Despite pitching the toughest games, Normandy still finished with a 3.92 earned run average in 104 innings and won several big games including the Comets first-ever win over the Northstars.
Both Wirtzberger and Normandy shared the team's most valuable player honors.
"Trent was our go to guy on the mound and batted cleanup for us," Evans said. "He also led us in RBIs and played an outstanding shortstop.
"Patch led our team in hitting, was second in RBIs and led us in stolen bases. He also did a great job catching in his first real year at the position."
Outfielder Kaare Engebretson earned the prestigious coaches award from Evans.
Engebretson, according to Evans, best represented Comet baseball both on and off the baseball.
"Kaare was one of the first to the field and the last to leave," Evans said. "He worked on the field, drove the bus and even jogged behind the bus once. He always wanted to know if there was anything else to before he left for the day."