PRAIRIE CITY - The baseball program continues to grow and develop at Prairie City High School, and second-year head coach Shannon Voigt reported a total of 21 players have turned out for the 2004 season.
Although there are just two seniors on the roster, many of the players had varsity experience last season while a number of others have played together for years on Babe Ruth and Little League majors teams during the summer.
"We have a number of players coming back who know what varsity baseball is all about and I think we'll be competitive with some of the teams in the league this year," Voigt said.
Two of the key returning players for the Panthers are senior Jeremiah Wheeler and sophomore Greg Waggoner, who were both named honorable mention Wapiti League players last season.
Wheeler is an outfielder and Waggoner plays on the infield and also pitches.
Third baseman Thomas Hendriksen is the other senior on the Prairie City roster.
Other returning players include junior catcher Bill Rockhill, junior outfielders Gary Moulton, Logan Bagett and M.J. McCarthy, junior catcher/outfielder Jim Davis, and junior infielder Jason Jackson.
Returning sophomores include infielder/pitcher Yazzie Voigt, infielder/outfielders Joey Fox and Gavin Crisler, and outfielder Jay Adams.
New to the program this year are senior outfielder R.J. Clingman, sophomore outfielder Brandon Lovell and sophomore pitcher/infielder Josh Snodgrass.
Prairie City is also blessed with five freshman out for varsity competition for the first time.
These players include infielder/outfielders Brady Sullens and Cody Sederlin, outfielder Kenny Clingman, and pitcher/infielders Brenton Groves and Levi Voigt.
"It's good to see the kids wanting to play," coach Voigt said. "The team is still real young, but I'm happy to see the number of kids we have this year. The program is only going to get better as the kids mature and develop their skills."
The Panthers open the season on Wednesday, March 17, playing the newly-formed Dayville team on its home field, and have a return engagement against the Dayville squad in Prairie City at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 19.