MELISSA — Melissa senior baseball standout Tate Whittington has been tabbed to play in the 45th-annual Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association’s All-Star game, June 16, at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. Whittington will be in the lineup when North meets South in a match-up of Class 4A/3A/2A All-Stars from across the state. The contest starts at 10 a.m., with the Class 6A/5A game to follow.

Melissa head coach Jason Russell said to make these Texas All-Star rosters is exceedingly tough. “I’ve tried for years to get someone on this team. It’s special. Tate is one of the top players in the state, really in any classification. It’s just a testament to his hard work. I’m really proud of him.” Russell noted that Whittington — a key contributor to the Cards’ 2018 regional-quarterfinals playoff run — hit .440 on the year with over 30 RBI.

“He had a special year,” Russell said.

“It’s just a blessing to play with a great group of guys — to be selected to do so,” Whittington said of his upcoming trip south. “And it’s a great way to cap off my high school career.” It was Russell who gave him the good news. “I was pumped and he was pumped for me,” Whittington said. “It was a good time.”

Asked about perhaps facing some 90-mile-per-hour heat at Round Rock, Whittington said, “Oh, probably for sure. Especially in this area, there’s a lot of great kids that can pump it up there. I think we’ll definitely be seeing some hard throwing. That’s what I like.”

As a four-year starter for the Cards, Whittington shined as an outfielder, a pitcher and a first baseman – and he swung a big bat. He said he expects to play outfield at the All-Star game, adding, “But we’ll see.” At the Melissa Booster Club’s recent awards banquet, Whittington was named the Cards’ team MVP for a third-straight season. Additionally, he was District 11-4A’s Co-Offensive Player of the Year in 2017 and its Co-MVP this past season.

In April, Whittington signed to continue his education and baseball career at Cisco College in Cisco. He is the son of Charlie and Diane Whittington.