Blue Earth Area baseball players had a memorable season last year.
And most of the players for the Buccaneers got play time during the summer on the Legion team which ended up going to State.
Coach Todd Schmidtke thinks all of these factors are going to come together, resulting in a successful season for BEA.
The 2014 baseball team includes, back row, left to right: Austin Gustafson, Jose Rios, Kellen Jacobs, Quinn Huisman, Mathew Bell, Coach Todd Schmidtke. Front row, left to right; Charlie Allis, Seth Anderson, David Franta, Luke Schavey, Jack Kennedy and Jared Hassing.
"The boys will come to play this year,"?he says.
The Bucs lost five seniors to graduation including Carter Hanson, Dallas Barslou, Brandyn Olsen and Reid Rasmussen; leaving big holes to fill on the team.
Luckily, there will be eight seniors on varsity this year; Alec Huber, Alex Stewart, Quinn Huisman, Seth Anderson, David Franta, Jose Rios, Austin Gustafson and Jared Hassing.
"We are pretty balanced because along with those eight seniors, we will have six juniors," Schmidtke says.
The juniors on the team include Blake Peterson, Mathew Bell, Kellen Jacobs, Jack Kennedy, Luke Schavey and Charlie Allis.
The returning seniors Franta and Anderson talked about highlights from last season, recalling their win against Waseca and the split against St. Peter.
"The team really stuck together," Franta says. "And there's a lot of camaraderie this year, too."
The teamwork this season has already become apparent to coach Schmidtke as well.
"All of these guys are working well together so far," he says. "The teamwork shown last season, that's going to be the case this year as well."
The Buc coach has one main concern, though, and that is the weather. Their first game is scheduled against New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva on March 31 at home.
"But, I know that the boys are ready to get out there and play,"?Schmidtke adds.
But, the amount of games per week, once the season gets going is another concern for the team.
"The issue with high school baseball is we're out there playing almost everyday," Schmidtke says. "That's not easy on the players and it really beats up your pitching staff."
However, according to the coach, there are a good set of players in every position this season.
"We will definitely have good depth on the team this year,"?he adds.
The maroon and gold ball players not only have good depth on the field, the coach says they also have accomplished a lot when it comes hitting the books, as well.
"These guys have high GPAs," Schmidtke says. "A lot of them are at 3.5 or higher."
As far as goals for the season, it's pretty simple.
"We want to score more runs than the other team,"?senior player Franta jokes. "And then do that every game."
According to the coach when the team sets individual goals, it in return, helps the team become more successful.
"These guys have hitting goals and just to be competitive,"?he says.
Regardless of goal setting and practicing, one thing is for sure; the boys are ready to play ball.
"There are a lot of good teams in our conference,"?Schmidtke says. "They are ready to get out there."