Boomer Elmsdale
Fri, February 16, 2024 at 12:02 PM . Kansas
As the new baseball season approaches, all eyes are on Abilene High School and their team, coached by Travis Bartley. The team ended their last season with a spot in the state tournament, but this year, they have their sights set even higher. Coach Bartley's main goal for this season is to secure another spot in the state tournament and ultimately compete for the state championship. Additionally, the team's aspiration is to win their league, the North Central Kansas League (NCKL), which is known as one of the toughest leagues in the state. Leading the charge in achieving these goals are the top returning players from last season. These players have proven their skills and dedication in the previous season, making them invaluable assets to the team. Drew Hansen, a senior, is expected to bring his experience and leadership to the team. Sophomores Heath Hoekman, Kyson Becker, and Lane Hoekman will also be key players, bringing their talents and determination to the field. Rounding out the returning starters are sophomores Levi Evans and Stocton Timbrook, as well as juniors Thomas Keener and Tyler Holloway, and senior Zach Miller. What makes these players special, according to Coach Bartley, is their ability to come together as a team. In team sports, building chemistry and camaraderie is crucial for success, and these players have proven themselves to be a cohesive unit. Coach Bartley emphasizes the importance of liking and enjoying each other's company, as well as working towards a common goal and holding each other accountable. He firmly believes that this team's strong bond will be a driving force in their success. However, the team is not just relying on their returning players to lead the way. Coach Bartley is also excited about the potential impact of some new players on the team. While the starting lineup from last season remains intact, there are a few underclassmen who are expected to make an immediate impact. Among these players are sophomores Canyn Taylor, Kayden Thrower, and Nolan Wilkins, and junior Austin Bruna. These players have already shown promise during practice and scrimmages and are expected to contribute to the team's success this season. Additionally, freshmen Ethan Evans and Jake Bartley will also see playing time, showing just how talented and deep this team is. When it comes to leadership, Coach Bartley looks for specific qualities in his potential team captains.