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Meet the 2021 All-Metro baseball team, led by co-players of the year and UVA commits Griff O'Ferrall and Jay Woolfolk
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Meet the 2021 All-Metro baseball team, led by co-players of the year and UVA commits Griff O'Ferrall and Jay Woolfolk

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St. Christopher’s Griff O’Ferrall and Benedictine’s Jay Woolfolk have competed against each other in baseball and football since they were in the eighth grade.

They didn’t know each other all that well, having met only a couple of times, but that picked up steam this spring when they starting texting each other during the baseball season.

They will be teammates next year at Virginia, so they figured they’d get to know each other better.

“We’re definitely excited to join forces finally,” O’Ferrall said.

The pairing could be a boon for the Cavaliers. O’Ferrall, a shortstop, and Woolfolk, a pitcher/outfielder, arrive as two of the state’s better prospects and The Times-Dispatch’s co-players of the year.

“Griff is obviously an unbelievable baseball player,” Woolfolk said. “He’s even a better person once you get to meet him. I can’t wait to start competing with Griff, getting on the field and becoming even closer friends than we are.”

Respect between O’Ferrall and Woolfolk and their talents have transcended what at times has been an intense rivalry between St. Christopher’s and Benedictine. When they texted this spring, it often was about their seasons and to congratulate each other.

“It’ll be different that we’re on the same side now,” O’Ferrall said, “but it won’t be hard to get used to.”

Competing together will have to wait a bit. Woolfolk will play two sports for the Cavaliers: football as a quarterback, then baseball. He was All-Metro in both sports.

O’Ferrall and Woolfolk have some parallels, starting with athletic bloodlines.

O’Ferrall’s mother played a variety of sports, he said. His father, Ren, the athletic director at St. Christopher’s, played baseball and ran track at VMI.

Woolfolk’s father, Peter, is in Richmond’s Hall of Fame for basketball with the Spiders. An uncle played football at Michigan and in the NFL, and his mother and grandmother played softball, he said.

O’Ferrall played football at St. Christopher’s, played basketball through the 10th grade and ran indoor track this past season. A quarterback, he partially tore the rotator cuff in his right (throwing) shoulder while passing as a junior.

Healthy, O’Ferrall didn’t play football this year because it was in the spring and he didn’t want to miss any baseball. He hit .449 with five homers and 26 RBIs, seven doubles, two triples, stole 20 bases, got on base at a .608 clip, struck out only three times and scored an almost unfathomable 47 runs for the Saints (22-1-1), whose only loss was 8-7 to Benedictine in the VISAA Division I state championship game.

St. Christopher’s coach Tony Szymendera said O’Ferrall “was just as complete a package of a player as we’ve had, and we’ve had some good ones.”

“He’s a pretty serious-minded and focused kid,” Szymendera said. “He’s gifted physically, but he really works at it and wants to do things the right way. He’s kind of that dream in that you’ve got the kid with all the physical tools and he’s not there to just be better than everyone from a talent perspective. He really wants get better and he wants to lead and he wants to be a team guy.”

Woolfolk, who ran track in eighth grade, subtracted basketball from his menu in the 10th grade. After an abbreviated football season this spring, he joined the baseball team after the season started.

It took Woolfolk and the Cadets a little while to get going before finishing with a flourish. A combination of speed and power offensively who brings serious heat as a pitcher, the center fielder hit .333 with six homers and 18 RBIs. He stole 21 of 22 bases. Benedictine, 8-6 at one point, won its final 11 games.

On the mound, Woolfolk's fastball consistently is in the 90-93 mph range and occasionally hits 94-95. He was 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA, allowing 20 hits and 14 walks in 36 1/3 innings.

“In my mind he’s one of the best athletes to come through Benedictine in its history,” Cadets coach Sean Ryan said. “What I’ve always been impressed with is just how he goes about his business, meaning if he’s on the mound, you don’t know whether he’s up 10-0 or down 10-0. He has just always been very humble and has carried himself with a tremendous amount of respect for whichever sport he’s playing, but also for his teammates and his opponents.”

Becoming teammates means O’Ferrall won’t have to face Woolfolk’s fastball. Woolfolk won’t have to figure out how to get O’Ferrall out.

“I can’t wait to just finally get together with him,” Woolfolk said, “and possibly win Omaha [the College World Series] one year with him.”

Meet the rest of the first team

Brett Allen

School: Mechanicsville

Year: Senior

Position: Pitcher

The skinny: Allen was dominant, allowing only five runs in six starts, including three starts against Class 4 state finalist Hanover. He shut out Hanover in one victory. He was 3-1 with a 0.64 ERA, and hitters managed to get only 10 hits in 32 2/3 innings. They batted .092 against him. Allen is headed to Massachusetts.

Levi Huesman

School: Hanover

Year: Junior

Position: Pitcher

The skinny: One of the top pitching prospects in the state, Huesman had four wins and a save with a 0.77 ERA. In 36 1/3 innings, the left-hander struck out 66 and walked 14. In a 3-2 loss to Broad Run in the Class 4 state championship game, Huesman allowed three runs (one earned), one hit and three walks. He struck out six. He has committed to Coastal Carolina.

Jaden Kinsler

School: Glen Allen

Year: Junior

Position: Pitcher

The skinny: Kinsler, a left-hander, drew a lot of the top assignments for Glen Allen. He was 4-0 with a 0.98 ERA, helping the Jaguars go 14-0 before sustaining their only loss in a last-inning comeback by Godwin in the Class 5, Region B championship game. A first-team all-region pick, Kinsler struck out 37 and walked just seven in 28 1/3 innings.

Everett Vaughan

School: Cosby

Year: Senior

Position: Pitcher

The skinny: The right-hander was a major cog for a Titans team that won the Class 6, Region A championship. He was 5-1 with a 2.14 ERA and came in as a closer when needed, posting two saves. In 40 2/3 innings, Vaughan yielded 34 hits and 14 walks. He had 55 strikeouts. He’s headed to High Point.

Caleb Grizzard

School: Cosby

Year: Junior

Position: Pitcher

The skinny: The left-hander went 4-1 with a 0.42 ERA for Cosby, which won the Class 6, Region A championship. He allowed two earned runs and had three shutouts in six starts, including the region championship game against Grassfield. In 33 innings, Grizzard allowed 16 hits and walked 17. He struck out 37. He has committed to Old Dominion.

Cannon Peebles

School: Hanover

Year: Junior

Position: Catcher

The skinny: Peebles batted .500 with four homers and 26 RBIs while helping Hanover to the Class 4 state title game. In a regular-season game, he had a grand slam and drove in seven runs. He struck out only six times and had a .600 on-base percentage. Peebles did not allow a passed ball and threw out five of six baserunners attempting to steal. He has committed to Old Dominion.

Carter Schmitt

School: St. Christopher’s

Year: Junior

Position: Catcher

The skinny: Huge run production came from Schmitt. Along with a .451 average, he had four homers and tied a school-record with 41 RBIs in 24 games, an average of 1.7 RBIs. Schmitt also had nine doubles, walked 17 times, struck out only four times and had an on-base percentage of .574. A VISAA all-state selection, he is headed to Randolph-Macon.

Cam Nuckols

School: St. Christopher’s

Year: Junior

Position: Pitcher/infielder

The skinny: Nuckols went 7-0 with a 0.59 ERA and one save on the mound. In 35 2/3 innings, he yielded 12 hits, walked 15 batters and had 65 strikeouts. Opponents batted .099 against him. Playing first base when not pitching, he batted .250 with one homer, 13 RBIs and four doubles. A VISAA all-state pick, he has committed to VCU.

Seth Keller

School: Hanover

Year: Junior

Position: Pitcher/infielder

The skinny: Keller was an all-around combination on the mound and at the plate. As a pitcher, he had three wins and a 1.00 ERA, with 25 strikeouts and three walks in 14 innings. Also a second baseman, Keller batted .375 with two homers and 21 RBIs. He had five doubles, one triple and a .500 on-base percentage. He has committed to ODU.

Carter Lovasz

School: Midlothian

Year: Senior

Position: Pitcher/infielder

The skinny: Another two-way force on the mound and at shortstop, Lovasz was the Class 5, Region B player of the year. He went 4-1 with a 1.35 ERA, striking out 37 in 36 1/3 innings with only seven walks. At the plate, Lovasz hit .432 with three homers, four doubles and a triple. He drove in 13 runs. He stole five bases and had a .604 on-base percentage. He’s going to William & Mary.

Luke Calveric

School: Mills Godwin

Year: Junior

Position: Infield

The skinny: Calveric had a major impact in the playoffs. He hit .650 in three playoff games and drove in the go-ahead run in two of them, including the Region 5B title game. He also made a championship-saving play at third base. With runners on second and third, he dove to grab a grounder down the line. His throw was picked out of the dirt by first baseman Matthew Cornwell to end the game. Calveric hit .361 with 11 RBIs overall and stole 10 bases.

Johnny Oates

School: Thomas Dale

Year: Senior

Position: Third base/catcher

The skinny: Oates supplied power and run production for the Knights, who advanced to the Class 6, Region A semifinals. He hit .457 and drove in 21 runs. Twelve of his 16 hits went for extra bases -- two homers and 10 doubles – and he was hard to strike out (twice). Oates had a .574 on-base percentage. He walked seven times and was hit by a pitch four times. He’s headed to Hampden-Sydney.

Harrison Coble

School: St. Christopher’s

Year: Senior

Position: Pitcher/outfielder

The skinny: After missing a few weeks with mononucleosis, Coble didn’t seem to miss a beat in multiple capacities. He was 7-0 with a 2.44 ERA on the mound for the Saints. Coble allowed 36 hits and walked 13 in 43 innings, with 49 strikeouts. Also an outfielder, he hit .473, had six doubles, drove in 19 runs and had a .558 on-base percentage. A VISAA Division I all-state pick, Coble is headed to Pittsburgh.

Josiah Harrison

School: Trinity Episcopal

Year: Junior

Position: Outfield

The skinny: Harrison showed a combination of power and speed for the Titans. A VISAA all-state pick, he hit .450 with six homers and 20 RBIs. He also had an incredible streak. In a four-game span, Harrison had 11 consecutive hits – five of which were homers – and drove in 15 runs. He walked 19 times, had an on-base percentage of .613, and stole 19 bases.

Honorable mention

Pitcher: Mark Schweickert, J.R. Tucker; Nick Redman, New Kent; Chase Swift, Thomas Dale

Catcher: George Gustafson, Mills Godwin; Collin Hughes, Cosby

Infield: Corey Adams, Benedictine; Ethan Brooks, Glen Allen; Michael Caliz, James River; Grayson Harris, Cosby; Trevor Hebner, Colonial Heights; Alec Riles, Cosby; Michael Shamus, Steward; Camden Weston, Thomas Dale

Outfield: Kyle Berkeley, Mills Godwin; Eli Brooks, Glen Allen; Jaron Ward, Dinwiddie; Donovan Williams, Collegiate

Two-way/utility: Traylor DuVal, J.R. Tucker; Kevin Gunn, Dinwiddie; Macho Santiago, Douglas Freeman

Note: With the variance in schedules and some schools not participating in some seasons due to the pandemic, for all sports this past year The Times-Dispatch selected one All-Metro team with honorable mentions.

Previous All-Metro players of the year

2020: No season

2019: Jamari Baylor, Benedictine

2018: Nick Biddison, St. Christopher’s

2017: Evan Justice, Collegiate

2016: Grey Lyttle, Hanover

2015: Nic Enright, Steward

2014: Derek Casey, Hanover

2013: Keith Searles, Hanover

2012: Nathan Kirby, James River

2011: Nick Christopher, Dinwiddie

2010: Mitchell Shifflett, Cosby

2009: Jake Mayers, Hanover

2008: Austin Stadler, James River

2007: Austin Stadler, James River

2006: Chris Duty, Monacan

2005: Justin Bristow, Godwin

2004: Justin Bristow, Godwin

2003: Jacob Cook, Lee-Davis

2002: Herman Dimmink, Clover Hill; Stephen Faris, J.R. Tucker

2001: Taylor Stewart, Freeman

2000: Marshall Hubbard, Patrick Henry

1999: Tommy Edelblut, Mills Godwin; Mike Mallory, Dinwiddie

1998: Matt Davis, Thomas Dale

1997: Kevin Elrod, Lee-Davis

1996: Andrew Slater, Collegiate

1995: Brad Simpson, Clover Hill

1994: Jake Anthony, Clover Hill

1993: Brad Chambers, Midlothian

tpearrell@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6965

Twitter: @timpearrelltd

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