ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
If there’s such a thing as inexperienced veterans, the Hillsboro Post 366 American Legion Senior Babe Ruth team would fit the description.
While the team boasts a squad of 16, several of those players are still learning the game.
“We have a lot of young kids, and we might struggle early-so we just need to find where everybody fits,” said manager Lyman Adams. “We need everybody to come together and show patience, but we’ll be all right.”
Adams, whose has been coaching baseball for 20 years, enters his 10th season with the American Legion program.
He will be assisted, as he was last season, by assistant coaches Joe Alvarez and Steve Hughbanks.
Adams said his main goal this year is not allow the players to take themselves too seriously.
“We want the kids to have fun and enjoy playing baseball, but we also want our kids to learn how to play the game the right way and to play the game with respect,” Adams said. “I believe in letting the kids swing the bat and hit and ball.”
Defense looks to be the strength of this year’s team, Adams said.
“I think we’ll probably be a good defensive team,” he said. “Our pitching will have to rely on a lot of kids and getting innings out of a lot of arms. We have a lot of throwers, but we’ll have to see how they develop.”
Early wins are nice, Adams said, but the ultimate goal is down the road.
“We really don’t set goals as far as wins and losses,” he said. “We just want to play the game, improve as we go and get ourselves prepared for the zone tournament at the end of the season.”
All home games will be played at Memorial Field, with doubleheaders starting at 6 p.m.
Adams said he and the team appreciated the sponsorship of American Legion Post 366.
This year’s roster includes the following players: Michael Bookless (1B/OF/P); Matt Brown (2B/P); Troy Frick (P/Utility); Jared Fish (OF/P); Clayton Garnica (1B/P); Tyler Goldsby (C/OF); Chad Hughbanks (IF/P); Kyle Jilka (OF/1B/P); Alfonse Klenda (3B); Justin Moore (IF/P); Alex Nuss (1B/OF); Aaron Stepanek (IF); Daniel Berg (IF/OF); Lucas Hamm (IF/OF), Brett McIntosh (Utility); Derek Hamm (OF/P/IF).
Following is this year’s schedule: June 9, Manhattan at Hillsboro; June 14, Hillsboro at McPherson; June 16, Peabody at Hillsboro; June 21, Hillsboro at Lyons; June 23, McPherson at Hillsboro; June 28 (to be determined); June 30, Herington at Hillsboro; July 5, Moundridge at Hillsboro; July 6, Hillsboro at Herington.