Whether it’s through the leadership of three college-bound athletes or the guidance of a new coaching staff, Varsity baseball is starting to show results compared to last year’s 4 – 21 record.
The team has already surpassed last year’s win tally with a 11 – 10 record and has posted big wins against rival Kirkwood and Marquette, led by Statesmen ex-head coach Steve Mazzola.
“It’s been fun so far. They’ve responded well, and for the most part we’ve been playing pretty good baseball,” said Joe Boeckman.
At the end of last year, the program lost five coaches to multiple reasons. Mazzola left to take JV head coaching job at close-to-home Marquette. Other assistant coaches were released because of contract expiration.
This year, the program moved Boeckman from JV head coach to Varsity head coach, Terry Whitford from freshman head coach to Varsity assistant, and returned Dwayne Kirksey to Varsity assistant coach after a five-year break of coaching baseball.
Glenn Woodruff is now the head coach of JV with T. J. Duncan as his assistant. Tony Gilmore is the head coach of freshman with Kenny Bollwerk as his assistant.
Players feel the reshuffling of coaches and the addition of certain varsity coaches have added to the positive attitude of the team.
“There’s more intensity and a greater desire to win,” said junior Mike Gulve. “The addition of Coach Kirksey and Whitford has definitely contributed to that.”
With six games left in the season, Beckman said the goal is to “keep playing hard ball at the end of the season.”