Between baseball, volleyball and rodeo, Wharton County Junior College gives out one Johnnie Frankie Award at their annual year-end banquet.
This year, former Ricebird, sophomore Brock Brandl won the award.
“I was honestly surprised,” Brandl said. “It was a big-time honor to me. I guess you could say it really touched me. It’s an awesome feeling that I got nominated and honored.”
The award is given to the one Pioneer athlete who exhibits outstanding abilities and character. Athletes are nominated and chosen by the coaching staff.
Brandl has played two seasons with the Pioneers and this season bat nearly .300 (.298). In his career, he played all over the field, including logging a few innings at pitcher this year. Brandl is in the top five of most of the teams offensive categories. He has the fifth most doubles with eight, third-most walks with 27, third-most steals with five, he leads the team with five sacrifices and his walk to strikeout ratio was second-best on the team.
“That’s a big-time award in Wharton, never in a million years I thought (I’d win it),” Brandl said. “It was awesome though and it felt really good.”
The Pioneers baseball team this season finished 27-29, and they went 1-2 in the Region 14 tournament. Brandl collected four hits in the three postseason games.
“We came together as a team better this year,” Brandl said. “We put the hitting and the pitching together this year and figured out ways to win.”
One of those games, Brandl helped send them into extra innings. Playing San Jacinto earlier in the season with two outs and a runner on third, Brandl singled to left field to tie the game, which the Pioneers ended up winning in 12 innings.
“Honestly I’m going to miss all the guys,” Brandl said.
Now that his time with the Pioneers is done, the former Ricebird is still trying to decide what is next.