Phs Graduate Hopes To Play Professional Baseball


Matt LeVac's seven-year Rim Country baseball career will come to a fitting climax June 10 at the Arizona Baseball Coaches Association North vs. South All-Star game.

The celestial clash will be played at 7 p.m. at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.


Matt LeVac swung one of the hottest bats in the state in 2006, wrapping up the campaign with a .432 average that included five home runs.

LeVac, who graduated from Payson High School last week, was chosen to participate in the prestigious game through a voting of high school baseball coaches held at the conclusion of the regular season.

LeVac will be a member of the North team coached by Blue Ridge's Joe Merklin and Shawn Desheene of Greyhills.

LeVac, an All-East Region first team selection in 2006, led the team in hitting with a .432 average that included team-leading marks of five home runs, 22 RBIs and 26 runs scored. He was among the East's best power hitters, with 17 extra base hits including 11 doubles. His on base percentage of .500 was one of the region's best marks.

His efforts helped the Longhorns post a 14-12 record overall, 9-3 in the East, and earn a berth into the state tournament after finishing tied with Snowflake for second in the region.

The Horns were eliminated from the state tournament by a 6-0 opening round loss Sahuarita.

As a junior, LeVac did not earn post-season honors despite posting some impressive statistics.

He finished with a team-leading .392 batting average, playing in 16 of the Horns' 27 games. He missed much of the early season while he recovered from an injury. After his return, he contributed 10 RBIs, scored 11 runs and slugged two home runs.

His slight on the Class 4A All-Grand Canyon Region team drew the ire of coach Jerry Daniels who vehemently argued LeVac, and at least two other Longhorns, were deserving of post-season honors.

At the time of the voting for all-region, Payson was a neglected stepchild member of the GCR because the school was to be realigned to the 3A East region the next school year.

Daniels said it was PHS's lowly status in the GCR that resulted in LeVac and others not being selected for all-region.

LeVac broke onto the high school scene in 2004 as a strong-armed sophomore catcher. In a 6-5 win over Flagstaff in the opening round of the GCR tournament, LeVac gave fans a hint of good things to come, finishing 2-for-4 at the plate.

When not playing high school baseball the past four years, LeVac has been a member of the Arizona Pilots and Arizona Curve club teams in the Valley.

Three time LL all-star

In 2002, while playing on the Payson Cubs Little League team, he was selected as an all-star pitcher.

Last season, he saw part-time duty on the mound, finishing with a 1-0 record and a 3.23 ERA.

In 2000, he was an all-star on the 11- to 12-year-old Payson Little League team and in 1999 he turned in a torrid hitting performance in an all-star game in Page, finishing 6-for-9.

While a student at Rim Country Middle School, LeVac played on the Maverick basketball team and was a member of the Payson Bucs youth football squad.

Selected with LeVac to the 2006 ABCA North All-Star baseball from the East region are Charlie Ryan (Show Low), Kyler Willis (Snowflake), Josh Coplan (Blue Ridge), Eli Otero (Blue Ridge), Mike Petty (Blue Ridge), Jesse Baker (Blue Ridge), Steven Dennis (Holbrook) and Brandon Todd (Show Low)

The team will also have all-stars representing Monument Valley, Winslow, Chinle, Wickenburg and Greyhills.

LeVac has said that after the all-star game he will continue to play on a Valley based club team and hopefully have a shot at playing at the college level next school year.

He has his sights set on someday playing professionally.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.