Baseball grows into competitive team


Michael Long, Reporter

Fresh out of tryouts and after a long off season, baseball is in the air and the SHS baseball players all know that the season is right around the corner.


Last season did not go too well for the Cards. Their varsity record sat at 3-19 but this year, there are high expectations says head coach Scott Whitlock.

Although the team last year played competitively, a big issue was how young most of the players were according to Whitlock. Last season Whitlock says there were three freshmen and two or three different sophomores in the starting line up on any given day.

“We’re facing guys that are 18, 19 years old and I’ve got guys that are 14, 15, 16 years old out there,” Whitlock said.

However, last season is over and this is a new opportunity for the team. With some of the freshmen and sophomores from last season returning this year, expectations are held higher because of the experienced they gained.

“Having a year under our belt is definitely going to help for this year,” returning varsity player, sophomore Jack Vanover said. “The future is bright because we’re going to have a lot of experience.”

Vanover also thinks that a problem last season was the lack of leadership. Since a majority of the team was lower class men last season, there were not a lot of upperclassmen to help lead the team. In fact, there were only two seniors last year. Lack of leadership can cause problems for teams.

“There wasn’t really any expectation going into the season,” Vanover said. “I just think that we didn’t really have any one goal. We were just sort of going out there and showing up and seeing what happened.”

This year’s senior class consists of five seniors, so the team isn’t lacking upper classmen leadership like they were last season. Plus with the returning younger players with new found experience, any of them have potential to step up and help lead the team, so there are a lot of candidates for team leaders.

Another thing that the team has been working on improving is how they perform when they are up to bat. According to Vanover, the team batting average last year was “horrible”.

The main factor that plays into the team’s batting improvement is a building that was donated to them years ago called ‘The Ruben.’ Although the building was donated to the team years ago, it was just made available to them at end of last April.

“Hopefully it’s going to pay big dividends,” Whitlock said. “Our guys are able to hit and get a lot more swings in. We’re able to go more year-round…we don’t have to come in late at night and just scratch and fly for some gym time.”

Some key players returning from last season are seniors Chris Cox  and Dustin Church. Cox is the team’s only returning outfielder and Church is a four-year varsity infielder. Vanover and sophomore Avery Short, the team’s first and second pitcher, are also some key returning varsity players, according to Whitlock.