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Herbert Hoover’s Jess Canterbury smacks a single during a sectional game during the 2019 season.

Jess Canterbury, a senior from Herbert Hoover, and Eli Kirkendoll, a senior from Lincoln County, have been selected as the Johnny Bench Award high school winners for the state of West Virginia.

The Bench Awards salute the top college softball and baseball catchers in the country and the top high school softball and baseball catchers in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana — considered Reds Country — in honor of Bench, the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame catcher.

Neither Canterbury nor Kirkendoll was able to play this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last season, Canterbury helped the Huskies capture the Class AA state title by hitting .362 with seven doubles and drove in 24 runs. Kirkendoll was chosen to the Class AA All-State first team as a junior, hitting .479 for the Panthers with six home runs and 39 RBIs.

Morgantown’s Brown wins girls Gatorade honor

Sammie Brown, a senior midfielder who led Morgantown to a 20-2-1 record and the state Class AAA championship last fall, has been selected as West Virginia’s Gatorade Player of the Year in girls soccer.

Brown had 25 goals and 21 assists for the Mohigans, who beat Hedgesville 3-2 in the title game. She had one goal and one assist in that contest.

She is the daughter of WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown and has signed to play at Auburn.