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Published On: September 11th, 2013

(Rochester,MN)– The Rochester Honkers have announced the following awards for the 2013 season: Honker of the year, Carter Burgess (Sam Houston State,) Pitcher of the year, Matt Kent (Texas A&M,) and Most Inspirational Player, Reid Roper (Illinois.)

Although he was limited to 40 games because of a hamstring injury, Burgess was able to not only win this award, but also earn the respect and admiration of Honkers Field Manager Adam White.

“He has been the best all-around player I have ever coached,” White said of Burgess. “I have been around some really good players, but what separated Carter from the others are his consistency and the way that he battled through that hamstring injury.”

Burgess hit .373 with five homeruns, 13 doubles, and 25 RBI in his time in Rochester. His season was highlighted by a 23-game hitting streak that he carried through his first 23 games with the team. The streak is the second longest in team history and is the fourth longest in Northwoods League history.

“It is unfortunate that he did leave us, but I respect the fact that he battled that bad hamstring for as long as he did,” White said. “Neither I, the organization, or the players could have asked any more out of a player to go out there and produce every day with a bad leg like he did.”

Burgess final game representing the Honkers came in Northwoods League All-Star game, where he earned MVP honors as he went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI while turning in a defensive gem to record the game's final out.

Kent is a second-year player for the Honkers and has demonstrated steady improvement in his second season.

Kent went 5-3 with a 2.50 ERA in 11 starts this season for the Honkers. For the second consecutive season he led the pitching staff in innings pitched, as he finished with 72 innings while collecting 66 strikeouts.

“Every time he has gone out there, he has competed and has given us a chance to win,” White said of Kent. “It was a tough decision between Kent, Reid Roper, and Tyler Eppler. It pretty much came down to the numbers as to why we chose Matt Kent. It was not an easy decision to make, but it was one, that after sitting down and discussing it, that we all agreed on.”

Kent joined Burgess in the all-star game, as he pitched the second inning for the North Division.

Roper, a third-year player for the Honkers, earned the award of most inspirational player of the year with his leadership on and off the field.

“Reid is a team-leader,” White said. “He leads by example and goes about his business in a professional manner and in the right way. Off the field he is always leading the guys in any event we go to; he even holds chapel in the grandstands for the players.”

In his third season in Rochester, Roper hit .229 with one homerun in 50 games. He also turned in a phenomenal performance on the mound as he did not allow an earned run in 27 innings. He struck out 30 batters, while just allowing 13 hits and three walks.

White says a big reason for Roper winning this award is his ability to separate the different aspects of his game and to be able to stay focused on the task at hand. There have been several occurrences this season where Roper has played an entire game in the field and had been asked to come in to pitch in the late innings; every time Roper has gotten the job done.

“What he has done so well is that he is able to separate himself between his offense and his pitching,” White said. “He doesn’t carry any one aspect of his game over into another. He understands that he is two different people—a pitcher and a hitter—for this team.”

The Rochester Honkers have had 40 players suit up this season, but these three players have separated themselves and earned their respective awards for the 2013 season.