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March 19, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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March 19, 2015

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Page 4 Section 2 Free Press Thursday, March 19, 2015 ical exper, ence By PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter Perhaps the beard Cory Wagner grew dur- ing basketball season is proof of Medical Lake baseball coach Kerry Kel- ly's observation made a few days ago about his team's experience. "Even though we're still a young team on pa- per, we're not young any more," Kelly said. And that's what makes Kelly look forward to starting his fourth season leading the program and improving on a 12-9 finish in 2014 and another berth in the state playoffs. It's been a good run for Kelly who inherited a struggling program that was just 1-17 in his first season in 2012, but turned an about face in 2013 go- ing 20-4 and made a run to the state 1A semifinals. The Cardinals lost just two players, Roman Kis- sack and Conner Crans- ton, from 2014 and now feature a team with four seniors, six juniors and two sophomores. Turnout for both varsity and JV was 28 which was down about 5-6 players. While quantity might be a little slim, quality is not lacking. : i:.l: eH!gh.School .2015.Base ballRoster, /de :.:.iz PosItion ;:ThrOw/Bat 1/::C01e.S01 ay : i :.11 1B E;L 2:: :CoG Wag tier: C :: :R,R 4:: :Ty!er Mu#den: . ::12 :: .... 21 ti d ::::9:;=/I:::=::R.;R. 8 Hudson Petek :i .;12: t:1 ::iBrayden.Hale. :' :;;:. ;: ;: :P INF OF: i-:: .: :;;:; :: .R R 14 D an Rushf :: :' :Head Coach: Ketryi: l]y Head: :;iA tt 8he ;i:: Asslatant COac S:iRob Beamet;;T0dd : !ideyi Athletic Tmi ing: ff:;L;eslleMartir :iand Eltsha Andrada "It's the right group of kids," Kelly said. "They've been in the program, they understand what we're trying to do." That starts at catcher where senior Hudson Petek will be the guy. "To his credit he battled and worked hard during the summertime," Kelly said. "He's going to do a lot of good things." Philip Murray will give Petek some rest at catching, Kelly said. "He'll pitch for us, he'll play outfield for us." Murray has speed "and is going to be an impact player." Kelly hopes the short- stop spot is a done deal with senior and four- year letter winner Dylan Rushfeldt. "I'm really, really hoping he takes control of that middle infield," Kelly said. "He looks like he wants that challenge." "If I could keep Cory Wagner and Tristin Keith in the middle (center field and second base) and Dylan at short and Hudson (at catcher), I like that," Kelly said. "Short- stop, he's my quarter- back." Should Rushfeldt have to move to the mound, and Kelly will do that, the junior Wagner will fill in fine. Wagner is one of the team's most versatile athletes, capable of play- ing just about anywhere. "Except I'm not going to let him get behind the plate," Kelly said. "If everything goes well, he's one of those players who possesses the ability to be MVP of the league," Kelly said of Wagner. "Dynamic center fielder, dynamic short- stop, dynamic athlete, may hit first, may hit third in our lineup." Second base is the place Kelly said presents one of the bigger chal- lenges. "We have a lot of guys, we're trying to figure that one out," he said. "We have a battle going on there right now." Tyler Munden played there in 2014, as did fel- low junior, Brayden Hale. Dylan Vercoe, a sopho- more, is also vying for the spot. "Hale is going to be one of those guys, he can pitch for us and he'll play some second, play some third," Kelly said. Cardinal softball reloading after state appearance The versatility contin- ues with Cole Sol/day, a junior and a lefthander. Sol/day possesses what Kelly called great baseball instincts. "He can play outfield, he'll pitch a little bit for us, but he's going to be primarily at first base," Kelly said. Joe Sica, a senior, will play third base. "He is re- ally looking good," Kelly said. Another senior is Jacob Steinmetz and a four year member of the team who will primarily play first base. Besides Wagner in the outfield, Jayln Musser, a junior will likely play right - and maybe some left field. "(He's) just a really good athlete, really fast," Kelly said. "This could be a breakout year for him." Keith was an all-league selection in 2014 and a player Kelly calls "a great center fielder,'~ which presents a problem - it's a good problem - in that the Cardinals have two re- ally good center fielders. Keith is one of the bet- ter players handling the bat, Kelly said. "(He's) a good bunter, a good contact guy; he plays a lot of pressure situations and comes through." "Overall I think we're one of those teams that should be in the mix, with potential of making a little bit of noise," Kelly said. The Northeast A will be a tight battle with Freeman, Lakeside and Riverside all in the mix. And there's not a whole lot known about NEA newcomers, Colville and Deer Park. Paul Delaney can be reached at pdelaney@cheneyfreepress. com. Nrway: Helgh ;: Chehey, Medical Lake aEWU : .l~t~ : : ~ng Groan 2~5. S 0~y ~roo}~ 2 Chad~s~1 .~0u h~a~, By PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter Medical Lake softball coach Tim Blakely is pretty amped up for the 2015 season. And at least for now it has nothing to do with his team's qualifying for the state playoffs and seeing the bulk of those players return Lhis season. "I'm excited to be out on dirt the first day of spring practice," the sec- ond-year coach said. "In the past it's been two to three weeks we've been inside," Blakely said. Ten of the 14 players on a team that finished 17-10 and lost a pair of one-run games, 6-5 to Zillah and 9-8 to Seattle Christian in 1A state play in Richland, Wash. return. The Cardinals lost three outstanding players from that 2014 team in- cluding Halley Cheevers, Shelby Pavao and Jordyn Soliday. "We are working very hard to fill the center field position," Blakely said, referring to the veteran Cheevers who played three years. "With all of our underclassmen out- fielders back, we should solidify that position shortly." Pavao and Soliday were the Cardinals' main arms a year ago but Blake- ly thinks he's got ample replacements in senior Chelsea Hamby, an All- NEA selection in 2014. Hamby played infield, outfield and "Had some mound time last year," Blakely said. "With the loss of both of our stud pitchers we had lasf year, pitching is going to be a little bit down," Blakely said. Taylor Pavao, a soph- omore, hopes to be able to fill the shoes of her older sister. Sisters Bradyn and Maleeka Wegner and Claire Dormaier are also vying for pitching time. Dormaier is also the start- ing shortstop. Maleeka Wegner is back for her senior year after having competed in track last spring. "I'm excited to have her back and she's exalted to be here," Blakely said. Kayla Pruitt, a junior, was another All-NEA team selection. Cousin Katelyn Pruitt, also a junior, returns and will play outfield. "She's done a lot of hard work in the offsea- son," Blakely said. Bradyn Wegner played some infield, and is slated to pitch, too. "She didn't pitch for us at all last year, (but) with the three other girls we have she's going to compliment our pitching rotation," Blakely said. Medicat;L ke High School 20t5 Softball Roater::: : No. :Player Name : : Grade Position t :Taylor Pavao 10 O /IF/P 4.:: :Alexandria Ste{nmetz 1:0 5; KayiaPmitt 1:1 6 Ma ka Wegner .... 12 IF/P; IF/P IF/OF C/IF/OF IF/OF 9 Chelsea Hamby 12 ......... P/IF/OF .... 10 Hannah Petek: 9; - ; ;IF/OF 11; KatelynPruitt; : ;t:t : ; ,OF 12 Glori Cheevers t0 :;; ; 'IF; 14 . ' Sarah Mayer. : : t0 IF/OF: 18 RacheiStanflll : : C/IF/OF Head Coach: Blake!y Athletic Training Staff: LestieMa in and Etisha A rada. At catcher is junior Ra- chel Stanfill, the backup in the position in 2014. Glori Cheevers, Alex Steinmetz and Sarah May- er are other sophomores who return. The team will also carry a freshman in Hannah Petek who will play both infield and outfield. Cheevers played third base and as just a 9, UCOa'~ ::. ~ 5t~ 10 : B~ west ~. Mi~ Le~a~ ~'5t, ,James (~v~" (?,~ Ja[~ Pen~ ~r2.Y~le : : . : 22~ 43212 IvyL.eqg~e Btmles:At~Ba~t(8)3:~m~rdc:Eemandez{13)iHunter 'l&.~i~Maty~~ :2t-9 ~ 13 : '~tCes~ "elt(g)~K~:~il~e~I3}'Ar~n}Rueles~8)'JesePh ~6.Sam:H~t~ : ~.7 ~,1 15 : Sou~r~ rYsop(B},J~*aioWami~fl~. 22.N.C~kLaCeI~ 24~6 86 23, M~Eeste~ freshman earned all-NEA ="=' ~'"~ ~ ~'~'~ ~'~' ~"= ~'~"~=~ Complete Conventional Oil Change/Lube/ Inspection Includes: Conventional Oil Change, up to 5 auarts oil iii~iil| Replace Oil Filter Chassis Lube Fluid Level Checks Inspection of Belts/Hoses/Air Filter/Tire Pressure :!i!~i~!.ii Standard wheel base vehicles only..Diesels extra. Disposal fee additional $3. ISome oil filters extra) ~i! i!iil PLUS RECEIVE OUR 16 POINT INSPECTION ili 1. Frontwheel beanngs 9, Shocks 2. Emergency Brake tO, Steering front end condition 3. Exhaust System 11. U-joints & final drive 4. Hoses 12, Drive belts ~ ,~: 5. Clutch 13. Wioers o. Horn t, L,gn, sys,em 7. Alignment evaluation based on tire wear 15. Oil Leaks 8. Cooling System 16, Fluid condiUon and levels :i~:=:;;. iiiii !i lili i honors. Mayer and Steinmetz each played both outfield and infield, or "a little bit of dirt," as Blakely likes to say. "I think we're going to be able to compete, the kids are gritty," Blakely said. "I can't express how hard these kids work, in the classroom as well as on the field." Medical Lake will also field a full JV team. "Our numbers are pretty much the same as they were last year," Blakely said. A total of 27 girls turned out. And for a change, Blake- ly is inneed ofwater having endured a winter with little snow and only periodic rain. "I had to talk to my maintenance guy about ~_ng water," Blakely said. Paul Delaney can be reached at pdelaney@cheneyfreepress. COm. 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