Leading that list is junior Hunter Pearson, an all-league honorable mention utility player last season. Pearson batted .319 in 2015 to lead the returning players and is expected to contribute at first base, behind the plate and as a designated hitter.
Senior Ethan Loyd returns in centerfield and may also see time at shortstop. He batted .275 a year ago.
Additional returning starters include juniors Reed Wiens (second base/pitcher) who batted .298 and went 1-0 on the mound; Jordan Gagnebin (utility/pitcher); Devin Elkins (outfield/first base/pitcher); and Marshall Reedy (outfield/third base).
The Eagles sustained a handful of losses from last year?s 6-12 squad. The graduation of Tanner Klingen?smith, Connor Farnham and Nick Bray left a void on the mound. All three players pitched as well as contributing time at catcher (Klingen?smith), shortstop (Farnham) and first base (Bray).
Nelson said it will be important to solidify pitching roles for the upcoming season. Aside from Wiens, only one other athlete has varsity experience on the mound.
The Eagles also will play without junior outfielder Caleb Sovde because of injury and sophomore third baseman Jonah Sargent.
Newcomers to watch include seniors Travis Unruh, Clayton Sargent and Zach Snow, and freshman Logan Miller.
Nelson said he expects Canton-Galva to be solid up the middle and display more team speed this season.
The Eagles are still seeking to nail down their corner fielders and three-hole hitter.
?(We) need for some boys to step up and fill some big spots in the order for us,? Nelson said. ?Hopefully the addition of three seniors who haven?t played can help us fill some holes left by graduation and injury. We?ll do our best to compete.?
Canton-Galva was scheduled to kick off the season at Moundridge April 8. The Eagles? home-opener will be April 12 versus Inman.