CRIVITZ — A young, but talented M&O Conference in baseball featured many top seeds in their respective regionals while featuring a plethora of top-tier players at several positions.

With the race for the most valuable player award tighter than it’s been in years, three players emerged as the best of the best and were honored for their efforts.

Niagara’s Landen Kaldor, Jaden Werner from Crivitz and Wausaukee’s Andrew Schroeder earned a three-way tie for the M&O’s MVP award.

For Kaldor, earning a share of the top player honors as a senior not only summed up how well his season went, but also his career as a four-year varsity starter.

Playing the catcher position along with filling the role as Niagara’s No. 2 pitcher, Kaldor helped guide the Badgers to their first sectional playoff berth since 2017.

“Landen is one of the best hitters in the league and he’s had an outstanding career,” Niagara coach Dean Neveau said. “He’s an excellent catcher, did a nice job pitching for us and always provided great leadership.”

Schroeder and Werner, both juniors, matched up against each other on the mound, while also representing their respective teams’ best hitter in the lineup and stellar play at short stop when not pitching.

Rangers coach Jon Betts couldn’t say enough about how pleased he was with Schroeder’s growth and development from last year, which was a bit of a down year after playing so well as a freshman.

Finishing among some of the best hitters in the M&O, Schroeder had a .583 batting average along with a .667 on base percentage and roped four triples, to lead the Rangers.

“Andrew had a great season and was such a clutch hitter,” said Betts. “He only struck out once all season, which was impressive because he faced some good pitching.”

Werner, who was a first-teamer a season ago, seemed to be even better both at the plate, on the mound and in the field this year, while being the focal point of opposing teams.

The Wolverines, who tied a school record in wins this season, have Werner to thank for many of them as he finished third in the state with 104 strikeouts on the mound while finishing with a 2.18 earned run average. He also drove in 34 runs at the plate, drew 22 walks and slugged two home runs.

“Jaden gave us a chance to win every time he took the mound,” Crivitz coach Jeff Dorschner said. “He had really good power numbers with several home runs and was just a successful kid that has been one of our mainstays in the lineup for the past three years.”

Also earning a spot on the first team for Crivitz was junior Dawson Andrist in center field.

Andrist didn’t have a single error in center, after moving from left the previous two seasons and also hit in the lead-off spot for the first time in his career. After a slow start to the season, Andrist took off, finishing second on the team with 25 hits while drawing 15 walks.

“Dawson was an aggressive base runner that set the table for us at the lead-off spot,” Dorschner said. “His numbers got better throughout the year and I’m glad to have him back for another year.”

Both Werner and Andrist were first-team selections in all three sports they played in, which consisted of football, basketball and baseball, a feat Dorschner was very proud of. Werner also was a first team All District selection, the second player in school history to achieve that feat.

“You can’t ask for guys that keep themselves more busy than Dawson and Jaden,” Dorschner said.

The Rangers had two other players make the first team in seniors Kyle Struve and Tyler Gruszynski.

Struve, a four-year starter and a first-teamer last year, moved around the infield, depending on who pitched, but played a lot of short stop and was also a reliable reliever. Gruszynski tracked everything down in center and was a three-year starter that was very reliable.

Struve hit .333 at the lead-off spot and Gruszynski finished with a .312 BA, both giving the Rangers a chance every time they stepped to the plate.

“Kyle was a great guy to have at the top of the order and he did so much for us defensively,” Betts said. “Tyler did a nice job at the plate and was such a good athlete. He was great in center and also helped play short and pitch when needed.”

Coleman was also well-represented with four first-team selections in senior Mason Risner; along with juniors Seth Seefeldt, Hunter Woulf and Brandon Engels.

Risner earned the top team in the infield and he embodied the role of the do-it-all player by playing short, third, pitcher and catcher when needed.

Woulf primarily played catcher, the position he made first team for, Engels was an outfielder and Seefeldt was the Cougars’ ace on the mound, where he helped guide them to a consistently high state ranking throughout the season.

Niagara junior Josh Weber also made the first team in the infield.