JOHN DAY Baseball season is here, and the Grant Union Prospectors are ready to step up to the plate.
Head coach Brian Delaney led his team to the 2A state crown last season with a 2-0 win over Umpqua Valley Christian.
He said that as long as his team, with 25 athletes this year, continues to play hard and eliminate errors and mental mistakes, the Pros have a good chance to repeat.
Baseball is a tough sport with lots of variables, he said. The one thing that will help these guys is to turn the page Its a new season, with a new set of goals and new set of challenges.
He lost five key seniors to graduation in June, but another set of experienced athletes are stepping up.
This seasons core group of seniors includes veteran players Dalton Reimers, Lane Williams, Rayce Houser and Kody Nelson.
Theyre what we call battle-tested, Delaney said. They have been through it all and bring experience to the team and a sense of calm.
Joining the team this year, with previous baseball experience, are seniors Braden Witty, Khol Goin, Arron Palmer and Levi McClellan.
Delaney said the seniors are filling the roles the graduates left.
Im excited about this senior group and what they can do with the team, he said.
Team goals include a batting average of .400, and, for the pitchers, an earned run average at 2.0 or under.
The seniors agree the team has great potential this year.
We have a pretty good team this year, Houser said. Were going to work hard to try to repeat.
We have a bunch of kids this year, Nelson said. If we work hard and have focus all the time, we should be able to do great this season.
Were working hard I really enjoy how weve come together as a family, Williams said.
We have some big holes to fill this year, Reimers said. I think there are some kids stepping up that can fill those. I believe if we come together, we could be a fantastic team. Im excited to have a great senior year.