The three top seniors in Platte County baseball’s returning corps recently signed national letters of intent to continue their career and celebrated together during a ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 16.
Justin Mitchell (Oklahoma University), Jared Wilson (Cowley County (Kan.) Community College) and Colton Horn (Northeastern (Colo.) Junior College) were all honored during an assembly at Platte County High School. In addition, senior Casey Jumps also celebrated his signing with Air Force Academy for wrestling, while Tori Farr (softball, William Jewell) and Mac Leet (track and field, Northwest Missouri State) made their Division II choices official.
The baseball team dominated the proceedings.
Mitchell became the first Class 5 all-state selection in program history after Platte County went 18-8 in 2016 and won the Suburban Conference Blue Division title for a second straight year. He led the Pirates in hits (37), runs (22), RBIs (21), doubles (nine), triples (three), home runs (five), batting average .420 and slugging percentage (.761), becoming their first all-state player since Tyler Ryun in 2008 (Class 3).
Playing catcher and batting leadoff, Mitchell struck out just six times in 97 plate appearances and hit .542 with runners in scoring position. He verbally committed to Oklahoma prior to the season and held to that after another standout season behind the plate, committing just two errors in 152 1/3 innings as a catcher and recording three pickoffs while throwing out 10 runners attempting to steal.
Mitchell could play outfield or corner infield in college.
Horn won the Blue Division player of the year award after finishing just behind Mitchell in most offensive categories. The left-handed-hitting centerfielder had a .418 batting average — second for the Pirates — but had a team-high 11 walks to push him to a team-leading .495 on-base percentage. He ranked second or third in hits (33), doubles (seven), home runs (two), runs (16) and RBIs (15).
In addition to his work at the plate, Horn also ranked second in innings pitched (39), strikeouts (35), starts (seven) and wins (five). He went 5-1 on the mound with a 1.80 ERA as the No. 2 pitching option for Platte County.
Wilson was the unquestioned ace as a junior, going 6-0 with a team-best 0.921 WHIP while constantly drawing starts against the best opponents. He threw 46.2 innings in eight starts, striking out 50 compared to 14 walks.
Jumps joined Mitchell as a Division I signee.
Entering his senior season with a 82-38 career record, Jumps has wrestled at 220 pounds since his freshman year at Platte County. He qualified for the Class 3 Missouri State Wrestling Championships as a sophomore, going 2-2 and finishing with a 35-18 record.
Jumps went 44-9 as a junior and placed fifth for his first state medal, helping the Pirates finish second in the Class 3 state team standings for a second consecutive year.
Part of a two-person signing class for William Jewell, Farr comes off her best season.
Farr started at second base her first two seasons and played a big part in Platte County’s run to the Class 3 state championship game in 2014. She moved to shortstop for each of the past two seasons, and the Pirates went 15-12 in 2016, losing to Smithville in the Class 3 District 15 title game for a second straight year.
Earning second-team all-state honors in Class 3 from the Missouri Fastpitch Coaches Association, Farr hit .500 with eight extra-base hits, 33 runs and 21 RBIs.
After signing with Northwest in Maryville, Mo., Leet goes into his senior season still looking to qualify for the Class 4 Missouri State Track and Field Championships for the first time.
However, the lanky athlete has shown flashes of his potential each of the past two seasons, recording career-bests of 6 feet, 4 inches in the high jump and 19 feet, 6 inches in the long jump.
As a sophomore, Leet reached Class 4 Sectional 4 competition in the high jump and long jump. He battled a foot injury in 2016 but still made it out of districts in the high jump.