Despite the graduation of four key seniors, second-year coach Mike Brouillette said he is optimistic about this year’s Canton-Galva baseball season.
The return of experienced players is the reason. The Eagles are led by seniors Taylor Myers and Nathan Bray.
Last season Myers, a 2010 all-league performer, led the team in seven offensive categories as well as touting a .422 batting average. On the mound, Myers was 5-1 with a 3.35 earned-run average and threw 56 strikeouts.
Bray’s defensive flexibility will be a huge asset this season as well, Brouillette said. He expects Bray to build on his solid offensive campaign, during which he batted .316.
The Eagles’ junior class enters the season with plenty of playing experience. All four juniors, Nick Vogts, Kolby Moddelmog, Taylor Koehn and Tyler Miller, were big contributors last season.
Vogts and Koehn both hit over .360 and Moddelmog shared the team lead in home runs with three. Miller looks to rebound from a knee injury that kept him out of half of the team’s games last season. He will play catcher and outfielder and hit in the middle of the lineup.
The Eagles also have plenty of new faces, with freshmen Kaden Litrell, Jacob Dailey, Jacob Struber, Chance Koehn, sophomore Bryan Little and junior John Sexton joining the ranks.
“We will have to get production from young guys,” Brouillette said. “That’s great experience for the future, but is always a concern presently.”
The Eagles’ record last year was 15-7 after tournament play, starting 0-5 before going on a 15-2 run.
Canton-Galva will try to find success this season against some tough opponents. They’re scheduled to play Hillsboro, Marion, Ell-Saline, Southeast of Saline, Little River and Halstead.
Ell-Saline will be the team to beat this season, according to Brouillette, as they went 18-2 last year, won the league title and have their nine starting players returning this season.