Aug 07, 2020 3:18 PM

FNBO Spartans celebrate a successful season

Posted Aug 07, 2020 3:18 PM

By: Mike Glesinger

In the film "Field of Dreams"...Actor James Earl Jones plays a writer named Terrance Mann,  and in one of the most quoted, and emotional scenes...Jones says...."the one constant through all the years has been baseball....."it reminds us of all that once was good...and it could be again"....and despite the Covid-19 pandemic and high school spring sports being cancelled, The Alliance First National Spartan Junior and Senior Legion teams, were able to begin practicing June 1 and began playing games June 18, and brought something good to local folks who were starved for sports. 

 In a 44 day span,  the Spartans played a total of 76 games.  The Juniors went 14-14-1 and the Seniors 31-16.   Thursday night the Spartans celebrated their season with a cook out at Bower/Shankland Field. 

 General  Manager Marty Dean, thanked the players, coaches, parents, sponsors and fans for all their support,  along with First National Bank and the City of Alliance, to make sure we were able to have baseball this summer. It was a much needed, positive event for a community that had been couped up for several months.   Marty is stepping down as GM after 8 years.  The Spartan Board will select a replacement in the off season.  

It was also a special night for Junior Head Coach Steve Gullion, who is stepping down after coaching in the Spartan program for 16 years.  Steve  talked about growning up in North Platte and loving the game of baseball at a very young age.  He said he was was too young to play for the local Pee Wee team, but the coach allowed him to practice and by the time the season started, he was the starting pitcher.   Steve joked, his grandfather told him,  he would give him a dime for every strike out he recorded... and after pitching 3 innings....grand dad owed him 90 cents!   "Grandpa, quit making deals after that".     Gullion went on the play at all levels of baseball and spent 4 years on the team at Kearney State College.  After his playing career ended he coached at the youth, high school and college level and also served as recreation director at the Nebraska State Penitentiary,  where he said most if his softball team starters were serving time for murder and other serious crimes.....Steve said..."after dealing with those guys...coaching you guys is a piece of cake!"   

Gullion then spent 25 years as an administrator, teacher, guardian, coach and counselor at the Nebraska Boys Ranch, south of Alliance, and has been a teacher and Jr. High coach in Alliance for the past several years.  He will assist Carlos Palomo with the Alliance High School girls softball team this fall.   Thank You,  Steve Gullion for all you have done!   

Coach Gullion along with assistant Coaches Kyle Sanders and Christian Clear, presented the following awards to the Spartan Jr. team. 

Junior Offensive Player of the Year....Mario Garza

Jr Defensive Player of the Year....Drew Romick

Jr. Defensive Infielder of the Year...Brantz Halouska

Jr. Pitcher of the Year...Victor Hinojosa

Jr. Most Improved....Tyzen Brown...Nick Wright

Jr. Utility Player of the Year....Kellon Muhr

Jr. Teammate of the Year...Carver Hauptman

Jr. Blue Collar Award....Landon Crowe

Jr All Conference...Infield...Brantz Halouska...Mario Garza....Pitcher..Vic Hinojosa.....Utility...Kellon Muhr....Offensive Player of the Year..Vic Hinojosa....Defensive Player of the Year...Mario Garza

Senior Head Coach Carlos Palomo also thanked everyone for their support and gave special thanks to the last year Senior Players...Joel Baker, EJ Gomez, JJ Garza, Chance Crowe, Kirk Sanders, Collin Schrawyer and Trevor Dubray.  Coach Palomo and assistant coach Adrian Gonzalez presented the following senior awards.

Senior Captain...Joel Baker

Offensive Player of the Year...Caeson Clarke

Defensive Infielder of the Year...JJ Garza

Defensive Outfielder of the Year...Caeson Clarke

Pitcher of the Year...Trevor Dubray...JJ Garza

Most Improved...Jacob Callen....Chance Crowe

Senior Teammate of the Year...Mario Garza

Blue Collar Award...Mario Garza....Collin Schrawyer

Senior Utility Player of the Year....Chase King

Clutch Performer of the Year...EJ Gomez

All Conference Awards...Outfield...Joel Baker...Caeson Clarke...Infield...JJ Garza and Collin Schrawyer

Conference Pitcher of the Year...Trevor Dubray

Conference Defensive Player of the Year...JJ Garza