Statesmen baseball team will look different after hiring former Major League Baseball player DaRond Stovall.
Stovall attended Althoff High school in Illinois, where he was drafted right out of high school by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1991. Stovall played professional baseball between 1991-2004.
In 1998 Stovall had the opportunity to play in the MLB for the Montreal Expos. With Montreal Stovall played in 62 games. He hit two home runs, six RBIs (runs batted in), his batting average was .205, and his OBP (on base percentage) was .262.
“My goal this season is to go in change the culture,” Stovall said.
Stovall plans to change the program and get team on a winning track because they have never won a State championship. Stovall said to change the culture, he must change the mentality of the players.
The Statesmen are coming off last year’s 9-18 record, and five possibly returning seniors. Stovall will try to rebuild a team that hasn’t had a winning season this since year’s seniors were freshmen.
Jerry Collins, athletic director, said, “Joe Boeckman decided not to return for the 2015-2016 baseball season.” When the baseball spot opened, Collins said the school had four, to five, applicants who applied.
“Stovall’s personality stood out,” Collins said.
Collins liked that Stovall had high level playing experience, and said Stovall will do a great job putting his own spin on the program. “Stovall does a great job getting to know the players and their parents,” Collins said.
Stovall was on the Webster Groves staff two previous years and last year he was the JV head coach.
“Stovall had a solid record coaching the JV team,” Collins said.
Cameron Thomas, senior baseball player, said, “Coach Stovall will be a great new addition.” Thomas said Stovall will implement things to help the team capture a state title.
“Coach Boeckman was a good coach but Stovall will add a new spark to the program,” Thomas said, adding Stovall is very personable and pushes each player to be better.
Anthony Gulve, senior baseball player, said, “I like Coach Stovall. He has great knowledge of the game.”
Gulve wants to win Districts since they haven’t won since he has been in high school.
Senior Nathan Cole, baseball manager, said, “Coach Stovall is more social than Coach Boeckman, but I like them both.” Cole has been managing for four years and he said, “It would be nice for team to win a State championship.”