Boomer Elmsdale
Fri, February 16, 2024 at 12:02 PM . Kansas
As the spring season approaches, the Derby High School baseball team is gearing up for another exciting season. With a strong group of returning players and some promising new additions, Head Coach Todd Olmstead is confident that his team has what it takes to compete for the league title and make a run in the playoffs. In this exclusive interview, Coach Olmstead shares his thoughts on this year's team, the challenges they will face, and his coaching philosophy. Coach Olmstead's ultimate goal every year is to see his team improve and develop into a cohesive unit. This season, his team's goals also include winning the league, playoff games and ultimately, a state championship. With this ambitious mindset, the Derby High baseball team is sure to give it their all on the field. One of the team's biggest strengths this season will be the experience and talent of their returning players. Colten Ruedy, a senior outfielder and first baseman, proved himself last year with a .407 batting average and was named All-League and All-State first baseman. Joining him is senior outfielder and pitcher Caden Riojas, who boasted a .326 batting average and was also named All-League. Sophomore second baseman and pitcher Rowan Foster was an Honorable Mention All-League player with a .268 batting average. These players will be vital to the team's success and provide a solid foundation for the rest of the team to build upon. But it's not just the experienced players who will be essential to this year's team. Coach Olmstead mentions a few names who may not be as well-known but will have to make a significant impact for the team to succeed. Senior Ethan Crawford, who will be taking over as catcher after the graduation of last year's starter, and junior third baseman and pitcher Calvin Pryor are both expected to step up and play critical roles. Another key player to watch is senior pitcher and shortstop Colby Morgan, who was injured halfway through last season but has the potential to be a game-changer this year. When asked about the team's preparation and training leading up to the season, Coach Olmstead emphasizes the importance of team bonding and communication. With frequent team dinners and plenty of communication work, the team is working hard to create a close-knit group that can work together towards a common goal. They also incorporate competitions and set daily goals to motivate and improve the players.