With eight starters returning, the Canton-Galva baseball team seeks to improve upon last year?s 6-14 record under the direction of third-year coach Kelly Nelson.
Four of those starters earned Heart of America all-league honors, including three seniors who have started for the Eagles since they were freshmen.
Senior Nick Bray earned second-team recognition at first base a year ago. He batted .333 and went 2-3 on the mound.
Senior Tanner Klingen?smith returns as a second-team catcher who also pitches. He batted .415, a statistic that leads the returning starters, and posted a 2-2 record as a pitcher.
The Eagles? third senior, Connor Farnham, earned honorable mention as a utility player, batting .393. He went 1-4 on the mound. In addition to pitching, he also played shortstop.
Junior Ethan Loyd was a second-team selection in center field. He batted .341 and saw time at shortstop.
Additional returning starters include: junior Caleb Sovde (outfield/utility) and sophomores Reed Wiens (second base, pitcher), Jordan Gagnebin (utility, pitcher) and Hunter Pearson (first base, catcher, designated hitter).
Newcomers to watch include sophomores Marshall Reedy and Devin Elkins.
The Eagles want to improve offensively. Canton-Galva boasted six .300 hitters last season after having only one the year before.
The Eagles graduated two seniors from last year?s team: starting pitcher and third-baseman Jacob Dailey, and closer and left fielder Jacob Struber.
To find success this year, Nelson said it will be important to replace what was lost on the mound and at third base, as well as decrease walks and errors.
Once again, the Eagles have good depth, meaning Canton-Galva will be able to play junior varsity games in addition to varsity.
Nelson said the team experienced a ?very successful summer season,? and praised the Eagles for their positive outlook.
?The eight returning players have been playing together several years and finished third in state during the summer,? he said. ?We play in a very tough league, but would hope to finish above .500 and make a run for a state berth.?
Canton-Galva will open its season at Inman Tuesday, then will host Mound?ridge April 10 at home.