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Kopriva collects conference’s top honor

T-R FILE PHOTO - North Tama junior Gabe Kopriva makes contact for at hit in the Redhawks’ district loss to Belle Plaine on July 12 in Victor. Kopriva has been named the Iowa Star Conference South Division’s Player of the Year.

An all-conference performer in one way or another for each of his four seasons, North Tama junior Gabe Kopriva has now reached the peak.

Kopriva was named the Player of the Year by the coaches of the Iowa Star Conference’s South Division, adding to his list of league accolades with the top honor.

Kopriva was the only first-team all-conference player for North Tama, which finished third in the South behind Collins-Maxwell and Colo-NESCO. Royals head coach Brandon Frohwein was honored as the league’s Coach of the Year. GMG, which finished fifth out of as many teams in the division, had a pair of first-team recipients in junior catcher Kooper Gill and senior infielder Zach Krull.

Kopriva batted .591 in conference play this summer, going 26-for-44 with three doubles, three triples, a home run and 12 RBIs. He scored a division-leading 20 runs and was tops with a .635 on-base percentage and a .864 slugging percentage. Kopriva also swiped 10 bases and had a .900 fielding percentage.

On the mound, Kopriva was 1-3 with one save in seven appearances, finishing with a 3.58 earned run average. He struck out 37 batters in 29 1/3 innings. He was an honorable mention all-conference selection as an eighth-grader, a second-teamer as a freshman, and is now a two-time first-team recipient.

Both Gill and Krull were second-teamers last summer. Krull finished atop the conference with a .596 batting average, going 28-for-47 with six doubles, a triple and 21 RBIs. He scored 10 runs for the Wolverines. As a pitcher, Krull went 3-3 with a 3.37 ERA and 27 strikeouts in as many innings.

Gill batted .429, scored 17 runs, stole 10 bases and drove in seven runs.

North Tama had a pair of second-team honorees in senior infielder Aaron Snider and junior pitcher Devin McKinley. GMG’s lone second-team player was senior infielder Brock Teske.

Michael Schrier, a sophomore was North Tama’s honorable mention selection, while none were noted for GMG.

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