Boomer Elmsdale
Fri, February 16, 2024 at 12:02 PM . Kansas
As the spring season approaches, fans and players alike are gearing up for another exciting year of baseball. At Oskaloosa High School, the team is ready to take to the field and compete for their conference championship and a spot in the state tournament. We had the opportunity to speak with head coach, Rod Stottlemire, about the team's outlook for the upcoming season. Coach Stottlemire is returning several key players from last year's successful team. Among the top returning players are Trenten VanHoutan, Barrett Heston, Gunner Rockhold, and Coy Perry. Each of these players were recognized with All-League or HM All-State honors last season and played a crucial role in the team's success. But what makes these players stand out? VanHoutan, an all-around athlete, had an impressive record on the mound last season, with an 8-0 record and 78 strikeouts. Heston, the team's catcher, also had a standout season with a .364 batting average, 24 hits, and 17 RBIs. Rockhold, an outfielder, brought power to the lineup with a .334 average, 22 hits, and 1 home run. And Perry, the team's third baseman, was a force at the plate with a .403 average, 25 hits, 2 home runs, and 19 RBIs. It's clear that these players bring a combination of skill, experience, and leadership to the team. Speaking of leadership, Coach Stottlemire looks for certain qualities in potential team captains. According to him, a captain should possess not only on-field skills, but also the ability to lead and motivate their teammates. Some players to watch for this season as potential captains are sophomore Hunter Miller, seniors Jesse Phillips and Nick Bradshaw, and junior Carter Subleka. As for the team's schedule, Coach Stottlemire shared that they will begin their season earlier this year and will be playing six more games than last season. This means that the team will have less time to practice before jumping into game play. But this challenge is one that Coach Stottlemire and his team are ready to take on. Their schedule includes tough opponents such as St. Mary's Academy, Pleasant Ridge, and Valley Falls, all of whom will be formidable opponents in the quest for the league and regional championships.