Bryson Luna honored as All-American team member by national baseball group
Dora High School sophomore Bryson Luna has been recognized as a Perfect Game / Rawlings Preseason All American team member.
Bryson was selected as a “high honorable mention” in the 2019 Rawlings / Perfect Game Preseason Underclass All-American team program that recognizes the top freshman, sophomore and junior high school baseball athletes in the U.S. The program recognizes 100 players on each of three “Underclass” teams designated as first, second and third teams. The program, which also recognizes additional outstanding players on the high honorable mention and honorable mention lists, is sponsored by the Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. and the Perfect Game baseball program, which hosts top-level amateur baseball events, including travel team tournaments and individual showcase events throughout the country.
Bryson and his triplet brothers, Mason and Auston Luna, have played baseball since they were 3 years old, Bryson said Monday. They began with T-ball teams coached by their dad, Rick Luna, and graduated to pitching-machine baseball in Gainesville’s summer ball program before moving on to higher-level baseball programs.
Since they were 12, they’ve been playing summer baseball with the St. Louis Prospects “scout team,” which had them competing in games and tournaments throughout the eastern U.S., including Texas, Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma, as well as Cooperstown, New York. Rick Luna coached the team with former St. Louis Cardinals player Jerry Daniels.
Bryson’s selection to the high honorable mention All-American list was based on his performance during a 16-day, two-tournament-plus-drills events last summer and in 2017 in Atlanta, “where everything’s recorded,” Rick Luna said.
In those events, Bryson’s “top result” fast-ball pitch was clocked at 81 mph, putting him in the 76th percentile of those participating. His top outfield throw when he played outfield in 2017 was 75 mph, putting him in the 75th percentile. He has been clocked at 85 mph in other events from the outfield, Rick Luna said.
During Perfect Game running drills, Bryson’s performance ranked from the 78th percentile to 93rd.
Auston Luna also did well, Rick Luna said, “but Bryson’s performance over those 16 days just happened to stand out.” Mason Luna missed most of the 2018 summer season due to an elbow injury that required surgery. However, Mason is “still rated pretty high” in the Perfect Game system from his 2017 stats.
This summer, their fifth year playing summer “select” baseball, the triplets will play on the Midwest Nationals traveling team based in Springfield. Coached by well-known baseball coach Randy Merryman, the team will participate in several college-showcase events, including games at the University of Arkansas, the University of Missouri, Texas Christian University and Vanderbilt University. Rick Luna said that, during summer baseball season, he and his sons – and sometimes their mother, Alicia – are away from home each week from Thursday through Sunday.
Right now, Bryson and his brothers are playing on the Dora High School baseball team, which currently has a 8-0 win-loss record for the season. Bryson’s favorite position to play is third base because, he said, he feels most comfortable there. But he also pitches and catches. “And last week he was in left field,” his dad said. “He’s just one of those guys who can play anywhere.”
Baseball isn’t Bryson’s only skill. He and his brothers just finished their sophomore-year basketball season, in which the Dora Falcons came close to winning the state championship but lost to Jefferson,75-65, in the final game. The triplets also run track and cross-country.
It’s obvious that sports are important to the Luna boys. Bryson said he’s hoping athletics can help him earn a college degree. He’s considering a career in the medical field, maybe anesthesiology, he said.
But first, there’s the rest of the high school baseball season to finish – before the summer baseball season begins. When summer ball ends in July, the Luna triplets will have a couple of weeks off before practice for their high school fall baseball season begins in August. After that, basketball season starts up again, and the Dora team that came so close to winning the 2019 state championship returns, intact, expecting to try again for the title in 2020.
And squeezed between baseball and basketball, the triplets run track and cross-country.