The Winner/Colome club baseball team will open the season at home on April 2 when they host Parkston. The junior varsity game will start at 6 p.m. followed by the varsity game at Leahy Bowl.
Returning letterwinners are Reed Harter, Holden Thieman, Drew DeMers, Kelly O’Bryan, Ty Bolton, Riley Calhoon and Levi McClanahan. Others on the team are Brandon Bicek, Colby Curtis, Luke Engel, Ryan Sherman, Nick Lantz, Tanner Moeller, Dalton Baker, Carter Brickman, Jamin Dougherty, Jeremiah Yeaman, Philip Jorgensen, Joren Bruun, Loren Moeller, Gage Watson, Jacob Beckers, Kameron Meiners, Oscar Pravecek, Ryder Mortenson, Fred Whiting, Nathan Monk, Pete Hughes, Hanna Rowe and Colton Schroeder.
The team is coaches by Drew Weber and Jon Hanson who are both in their second year of coaching club ball.
Weber says the team will be young with a core group of older ball players, 5 to 6 sophomores, a good group of freshmen and lots of 7th and 8th graders.
The team has been practicing for two weeks. Weber says the team is working on a lot of fundamentals.
The Royals will have plenty of pitchers. “Reed is returning as one of our best pitchers,” said Weber. DeMers, who threw a no hitter in the regional a year ago, injured his arm. The coach added Thieman, O’Bryan, Calhoon, Bolton, McClanahan, Brickman, Engel and Lantz may all see action on the mound.
“We are fortunate to have a lot of kids who can pitch and this will allow us to not have to over use one pitcher’s arm,” said the coach.
Harter returns as one of the leading hitters in the state. “We will have to use our speed and quickness at the plate. We need to be able to put the ball in play,” said Weber.
He says defense will also be good for the Royals.
The coach says the kids are enthusiastic to play. “We will be competitive and our goal is to make it to the state tournament,” said Weber.
The opener Thursday against Parkston is a non conference game. Weber says Parkston is one of the top five teams in the state. Parkston joined the Winner/Colome schedule after Chamberlain dropped out.
The first girl on the team is Hanna Rowe who is an 8th grader. Weber says she is eager to learn.