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Baseball coaches/athletic directors were sent a questionnaire to complete about the upcoming season. The Democrat will publish Sacred Heart’s preview later this week.



COLE CAMP



Coach: Todd Rusk, fifth year



2010 overall, conference records: 17-5, 5-0



Last district title: 1998



THE PLAYERS



Who’s gone: Ron Herdman (Pratt Community College), Aaron Pitts (Missouri Valley College) and Andrew Yeager (Crowder College).



Who’s back: 1B Riley Henning (.286), C Zach Kollbaum (.397), UTIL Aaron Porter (.333), C/OF Brendan Rusk (.371, 23 RBIs) and CF Tyler Rusk (.582, 6 HR, 39 RBI).



Fresh faces: 2B/SS Conner Balke, 2B/SS Zach Heimsoth, OF Jared Gardner, UTIL Colin Kabler, UTIL Tanner Oelrichs and 3B Austin Weinberg.



THE PITCHERS



Codi Eckhoff, Riley Henning and Aaron Porter.



STRENGTHS



The Bluebirds return a core of talented players and have some underclassmen who produced at the varsity level last season.



WEAKNESSES



The Bluebirds’ pitching could be a concern because they must replace four starters. Of the Bluebirds’ three pitchers, they pitched a combined three innings last season.



SCHEDULE



Date    Opponent    Time



March 22    at California    5 p.m.



March 24    at Eldon    5 p.m.



March 28    at Fayette    5 p.m.



March 29    LINCOLN    5 p.m.



March 31    LA MONTE    5 p.m.



April 2    Cole Camp Classic    9 a.m.



April 4    WARSAW    5 p.m.



April 5    at Green Ridge    5 p.m.



April 7    at Windsor    5 p.m.



April 8    SMITHTON    5 p.m.



April 11    at Eugene    5 p.m.



April 12    at Tipton    5 p.m.



April 14    STOVER    5 p.m.



April 21    at Sacred Heart    5 p.m.



April 25    at Sherwood    5 p.m.



April 26    at Northwest    5 p.m.



April 30-May 5    Kaysinger tourn.



May 9    at Versailles    5 p.m.



May 10    at Lakeland    4:30 p.m.



May 12    SKYLINE    4:30 p.m.    



LINCOLN



Coach: Will Lynde, 16th year



2010 overall record: 7-9



Last district title: 1990



PLAYERS



Who’s gone: P Logan Treece (playing baseball at Longview Community College in Lee’s Summit).



Who’s back: Mason Belsha, Brandon Crawford, Austin Ridgway, Christian Smith, Bryson Waibel, Brock Young and Drake Young.



Fresh faces: Cody Bennefeld, Dalton Drexler and Devyn Strathman. Bennefeld didn’t play last year because of an injury, and Drexler and Strathman, both freshmen, have already been inserted into the starting lineup.



PITCHERS



Cody Bennefeld, Austin Ridgway, Bryson Waibel, and Drake Young will anchor the pitching staff and help fill the void left by staff ace Logan Treece.



STRENGTHS



The Cardinals return seven players who started at one time or another last season, and Lynde likes his team’s pitching staff. Waibel will be the No. 1 starter.



WEAKNESSES



The Cardinals have only 11 players on their roster, so depth could be a problem as the season progresses.



SCHEDULE



Date    Opponent    Time



March 21    HERITAGE    4:30 p.m.



March 28    WARSAW    4:30 p.m.



March 29    at Cole Camp    5 p.m.



March 31    GREEN RIDGE    5 p.m.



April 1    at Weaubleau    4:30 p.m.



April 2        at Cole Camp tournament



April 4    LAKELAND    4:30  p.m.



April 5    TIPTON    5 p.m.



April 7    at Smithton    5 p.m.



April 12    NORTHWEST    4:30 p.m.



April 14    LA MONTE    5 p.m.



April 18    at Osceola    4:30 p.m.



April 19    at Windsor    5 p.m.



April 21    STOVER    5 p.m.



April 26    at Sacred Heart    5 p.m.



April 30-May 6    Kaysinger tourn.



May 9    CREST RIDGE    5 p.m.



May 10    at Macks Creek    4:30 p.m.



May 12    RUSSELLVILLE    5 p.m.



NORTHWEST



Coach: Seth Hutchison, first year.



2010 record: N/A



Last district title: 2004



PLAYERS



Who’s gone: Zack Crooker and Luke Simmons.



Who’s back: 1B Terry Gerke, C Chance Hutchison, 3B Jack Parkhurst, 1B Sam Pettis, SS Michael Thompson, LF Andrew Underwood, 2B Blake Underwood, CF Cody Wicker and SS Quincy Wicker.



Fresh faces: Cortlen Austin and Tristen Reece.



PITCHING



Chance Hutchison, Jack Parkhurst, Michael Thompson, Blake Underwood, Cody Wiskur and Quincy Wiskur.



STRENGTHS



Seth Hutchison likes his team’s senior leadership and believes hitting will be what carries the team.



WEAKNESSES



Besides their seniors, the Mustangs don’t have many strong arms. The depth and inexperience of the pitching staff behind ace Chance Hutchison could be a problem.



SCHEDULE



Date    Opponents    



March 21    at Bunceton



March 22    at Santa Fe



March 23    CONCORDIA



March 25    at Sweet Springs



March 28    SLATER



March 29    LA MONTE



March 31    at Windsor



April 4    at Crest Ridge



April 5    STOVER



April 6    at New Franklin



April 7    SACRED HEART



April 11    at Otterville



April 12    at Lincoln



April 13    LEETON



April 14    at Green Ridge



April 19    TIPTON



April 21    at Smithton



April 26    COLE CAMP



April 29    at Pilot Grove



April 30-May 6    Kaysinger tourn.



SMITHTON



Coach: Rich Pond, first year.



2010 overall record: 2-11



Last district title: 2005.



PLAYERS



Who’s gone: Cody Walker.



Who’s back: UTIL Justin Carver, INF Ethan Marino, OF Austin Nowell, INF Zack Price and INF Cameron Westermier.



Fresh faces: Dane Apsher, Damien Hendricks, Beau Kratzer, Preston McMullen and Nick Moulton.



PITCHERS



Ethan Marino and Zack Price will be the top team’s top two starters. Sean Loomis and Austin Nowell will work in relief roles.



STRENGTHS



Pond likes his team’s senior class, willingness to work hard and roster that goes 19 deep.



WEAKNESSES



The Tigers will feature several positions with young, inexperienced players.



SCHEDULE



Date    Opponent    Time



March 21    at Concordia    4:30 p.m.



March 22    LEETON    4:30 p.m.



March 29    at Windsor    5 p.m.



March 31    STOVER    4:30 p.m.



April 1    at Otterville    5:30 p.m.



April 5    at Sacred Heart    5 p.m.



April 7    LINCOLN    4:30 p.m.



April 8    at Cole Camp    5 p.m.



April 12    GREEN RIDGE    4:30 p.m.



April 14    at Tipton    5 p.m.



April 21    NORTHWEST    4:30 p.m.



April 25    at New Franklin    5 p.m.



April 26    BUNCETON    4:30 p.m.



April 28    LA MONTE    4:30 p.m.



April 30-May 6    Kaysinger tourn.



May 9    at Pilot Grove    5 p.m.



May 12    at Warsaw    4:30 p.m.



STOVER



Coach: B.J. Adams, seventh year



2010 overall record: 9-9



Last district title: none



PLAYERS



Who’s gone: P Tim Brown, 1B Chris LeClair, CF Jordan Quick,  SS Dillon Offield, C Landon Rymer and 3B Taylor Stanley



Who’s back: 2B Austin Beckman, OF Josh Scott and C Alex Thompson.



Fresh faces: Billy Ray Baker, Matthew Frisk, Joe Haynes, Danny Johanson, Brett Johnson, McKenzie Knuth, James Kreisel, Alex Newman, Randy Nolting, Trent Nolting, Taylon Payne, Rico Soto, Brett Tighe, Cody Van Vleck and Justin Wilson.



STRENGTHS



While the Bulldogs won’t have the talent and experience to compete for the conference championship, they have a chance to stay out of the cellar because Green Ridge and La Monte didn’t play baseball last season and will be starting from scratch.



WEAKNESSES



The Bulldogs have seven seniors, but only three of them have started at the varsity level. Mostly underclassman and a few first-year seniors will filling those starting roles. The team has no returning pitchers.



SCHEDULE



Date    Opponent    Time



March 21    at Warsaw    4:30 p.m.



March 22    at Fayette    4:30 p.m.



March 25    OTTERVILLE    4:30 p.m.



March 28    at Climax Springs    4:30 p.m.



March 29    TIPTON    5 p.m.



March31    at Smithton    5 p.m.



April 1    MACKS CREEK    4:30 p.m.



April 5    at Northwest    5 p.m.



April 9    at Calvary Lutheran    3 p.m.



April 12    WINDSOR    5 p.m.



April 14    at Cole Camp    5 p.m.



April 18    at La Monte    5 p.m.



April 19    SACRED HEART    5 p.m.



April 21    at Lincoln    5 p.m.



April 26    RUSSELLVILLE    5:30 p.m.



April 28    GREEN RIDGE    5 p.m.



April 30-May 6    Kaysinger tourney



May 5    CALVARY LUTH.    5:30 p.m.



May 6    ELDON    5 p.m.



May 9    CL. SPRINGS    4:30 p.m.



May 12    at Leeton    4:30 p.m.



TIPTON



Coach: Derek Skaggs, fifth year.



2010 overall record: 11-9



Last district title: none



PLAYERS



Who’s gone: SS/CF Keil Allison.



Who’s back: C Cameron Backes, 1B/OF Cub Reckner, RF Rustin Bruce, CF Collin Nolting, SS Zach Knipp, LF Morgan Renfro, OF Michael Keirsey, 3B Colten Powell, 2B Riley Brant, 3B Wade Wood, 1B/C Zane Stover, OF Quinton DuBois and 1B Adam Zimmerman.



Fresh faces: INF Bryce Crowe, OF Clint Hodler, 1B/OF David Richardson and OF Blaise Stuedle.



PITCHERS



Riley Brant, Collin Nolting and Wade Wood bring three veteran arms to the Cardinals’ staff, and David Richardson could add depth.



STRENGTHS



“We return everyone but one athlete from last year,” Skaggs said. “We had a very solid summer, beating some Class 3 and 4 ballclubs. We hit the ball well as a team, but there is always room for improvement. Our defense is solid as is our pitching.”



WEAKNESSES



“We have to eliminate walks from our pitchers and continue to improve our outfield along with our” sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth spots in the lineup, Skaggs said.



SCHEDULE



Date    Opponent



March 28    at Bunceton



March 29    at Stover



March 31    CALVARY LUTHERAN



April 4    CALIFORNIA



April 5    at Lincoln



April 7    GREEN RIDGE    



April 8-9    Iberia tournament



April 12    COLE CAMP



April 14    SMITHTON



April 15-16    Versailles tournament



April 18    at Sacred Heart



April 19    at Northwest



April 21    at La Monte



April 25    WINDSOR



April 28    at Tuscumbia



April 29    at Versailles



April 30-May 6    Kaysinger tourn.



May 9    at Russellville



May 10    at St. Elizabeth



Windsor



Coach: Brad Forrest, eighth year



2010 overall record: 7-7



Last district title: 2004



PLAYERS



Who’s gone: 3B Derek Riggs and DH Codi Moon.



Who’s back: CF Daniel Sanders (.340, 20 R, 19 RBI, 16 SB)  2B/CF Dillon Johnson (.436, 25 R, 14 RBI, 26 SB), 1B Ryan Hamilton (.354, 19 R, 16 SB) , RF Chase Drenon, LF/2B Trenton Scott and OF/C Zane Anstine (.304).



Fresh face: C Mason Briggs is competing for starting job.



PITCHERS



Daniel Sanders (43 IP, 4 W, 3.42 ERA, 51 K, 19 BB), Dillon Johnson (19 IP, 4.05 ERA, 19 Ks), Lane Soendker, Trevor Warlen and Chase Drenon.



STRENGTHS



The Greyhounds expect to be a high-scoring team. “We’ve got everybody coming back on offense who contributed last year,” Forrest said. “I’ve been happy with the young kids and how they’ve been hitting the ball.” The Greyhounds return staff ace Daniel Sanders and feature five others with varsity experience.



WEAKNESSES



The one thing that could hold the Greyhounds back is defense.



SCHEDULE



Date    Opponent    Time



March 22    OSCEOLA    4:30 p.m.



March 24    LEETON    4:30 p.m.



March 25    at Crest Ridge    4:30 p.m.



March 29    SMITHTON    5 p.m.



March 31    NORTHWEST    5 p.m.



April 1    at Lakeland    5 p.m.



April 4    WENTWORTH    4:30 p.m.



April 5    at La Monte    5 p.m.



April 7    COLE CAMP    5 p.m.



April 8-9        Marshall tournament



April 11    at Kingsville    4:30 p.m.



April 12    at Stover    5 p.m.



April 14    SACRED HEART    5 p.m.



April 19    LINCOLN    5 p.m.



April 21    GREEN RIDGE    5 p.m.



April 26    at Tipton    5 p.m.



April 29    at Osceola    5 p.m.



April30-May 6    Kaysinger tourn.



May 9    at Concordia    4:30 p.m.



May 10    WARSAW    4:30 p.m.



GREEN RIDGE



Coach: Paul Fletcher, fourth year



2010 record: 0-0, no team last year



Last district title: 2001



THE PLAYERS



Who’s back from 2009: Michael Bowman, Clint Sullivan and Brett Thomas.



Fresh faces: Beau Franklin, Brady Franklin, Axton Harding, Spencer Needy, Ben Scotten and Zak Tylar.



THE PITCHERS



Beau Franklin and Brett Thomas.



STRENGTHS



Fletcher said that having a team this season is a cause for excitement. He likes his team’s pitchers and outfield play.



WEAKNESSES



The Tigers will count heavily on three freshmen to play key positions this season.



SCHEDULE



Date    Opponent    Time



March 22    at Concordia    4:30 p.m.



March 24    KINGSVILLE    4:30 p.m.



March 29    at Leeton    4:30 p.m.



March 31    at Lincoln    5 p.m.



April 6    COLE  CAMP    5 p.m.



April 7    at Tipton    5 p.m.



April 11    ST. PAUL    4:30  p.m.



April 12    at Smithton    5 p.m.



April 14    NORTHWEST    5 p.m.



A15-16         Calvary Lutheran tourn.



April 19    LA MONTE    5 p.m.



April 21    at Windsor    5 p.m.



April 25    SACRED HEART    5 p.m.



April 28    at Stover    5 p.m.



April 30-May 6    Kaysinger tourn.



May 9    OTTERVILLE    4:30  p.m.



LA MONTE



Coach: Curtis Walk, first year



2010 record: 0-0; no team in four years.



Last district title: 1996



PITCHERS



Seth Johnson, Christian Arroyo and Aaron Durham.



STARTING OVER



The Vikings will be young and inexperienced, and much will be learned about the team once the season begins.



STRENGTHS



“We have some freshmen who have played summer ball and you can tell,” Walk said, and “some of the older kids still have a lot of baseball left in them.”



WEAKNESSES



“It’s just hard laying off baseball for so long and coming right back out to play,” Walk said. “We are a young team. We have 17 kids with no seniors.”



SCHEDULE



Date    Opponent



March 24    at KC Lutheran



March 28    KINGSVILLE



March 29    at Northwest



March 31    at Cole Camp



April 5    WINDSOR



April 7    at Wentworth



April 11    at Stover



April 12    SACRED HEART



April  14    at Lincoln



April 18    Mid-State tournament



April 21    TIPTON



April 28    at Smithton



April 30-May 7    Kaysinger tourn.



May 14    District tournament


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