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Dual sport star Hiltz leading Nederland into Spring

Landon Hiltz brings a quiet intensity to the Nederland sports scene as a dual sport athlete in baseball and football. First team All-District in both sports as a safety on the gridiron and at shortstop on the diamond brings a unique dynamic to a school whose sports are annual playoff contenders.

Hiltz plays his respective positions that are routinely given to the best athletes on the field.

“Playing two sports helps me athletically,” said Hiltz.

“It provides different skill sets. I bring football skills to baseball and some baseball skills to football. Playing two sports has really benefitted me in my four years of high school.”

Not to be overlooked with both positions are the leadership qualities that playing safety and shortstop bring to each sport. Recognizing offensive schemes in football and managing the infield brings a solid mentality to lead.

“Our baseball team has a lot of leaders,” said Hiltz.

“From me to Adam (Roccaforte, 2nd baseman) and Conner (Kemp, P), we all take control and call plays from the field. But most of our plays are called from Coach Spell.”

Nederland Baseball reached the third round of playoffs last season where they were eliminated for the second straight year by Barbers Hill. Led by Hiltz and their senior crew the Bulldogs will have a legitimate chance to make the regional tournament in 2019.

Ironically through redistricting the new District 21-5A will include two returning district champions with Nederland (2018 D-22 5A) and the aforementioned Barbers Hill (2018 D-21 5A).

The competition should help groom the Bulldogs for the postseason where Hiltz will lead the defense and will bat leadoff on offense.

“Landon has been a solid fixture in our middle infield for the past three years,” said baseball coach Bryan Spell, entering his four year at Nederland.

“He brings a wealth of talent defensively. We are moving him back to our leadoff role in hopes of jump starting our offense.”

Nederland will compete in the Jasper tournament this weekend and will begin district competition March 12 at Vidor.

For the latest in southeast Texas high school sports news, events, and podcasts, visit VYPE.com/SeTX.

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