WICHITA, Kan.—The Northwest Grizzlies baseball team is expecting a good season this year. The Grizzlies only lost three starters from last year, and have lots of talent on the roster this year.
Northwest finished the season with a 17-6 record last year, and are optimistic that this year will be even better.
Coach Travis Stockam said with everyone returning but three players, expectations are high for his Grizzlies.
“When we were supposed to be down last year due to inexperience, we still ended up with a good season. That should fuel the fire within the team this year to do even better,” Stockam said.
Stockam said the Grizzlies strengths this year include their experienced pitching and their team chemistry.
Northwest has a solid group of experienced pitchers ready to take the mound. Seniors Jacob Jones and Garrison Lorenz, and juniors Mitch McIntyre and Blake Feil will all be in the pitching rotation for the Grizzlies.
Highlights of last season include a win against Bishop Carroll, one of their biggest rivals, and beating Goddard in the regional championship game to earn a trip to the state tournament.
Senior Jacob Jones said he has a feeling it’s going to be a really good season.
“With all due respect to everyone I have been lucky enough to play with here at Northwest, this year’s team is working harder than any other team I have ever been a part of. We have lots of experience and talent,” Jones said.
This will be Stockam’s seventh year of coaching the Grizzlies, and he has taken his team to state for four of those years. Nothwest has made it to state for the last three years in a row.
Seniors Jones, Lorenz, Brian Taylor, Garrison Holmberg, Austin Barnes, Evan Smith, Devon Gandeza, Jordan Sibley, juniors McIntyre, Drew Eaves and sophomore Jared Gates will all add experience to the well rounded team.
Senior Garrison Lorenz said he also has a really good feeling about the team this year.
“We are full of talent and experience, and we are really coming together as a team. We expect a successful season and hope to make a return to state this year,” Lorenz said.
Lorenz said the team is working hard, and they are ready to get the season started.
“Our team goals for the season are to maintain the path we are on and to find a way mentally to take the program to the elite level of a city and state championship,” Stockam said.
The Grizzlies start their season off on Mar. 24 against Blue Valley at Maize.