Wildcats return 8 starters to the diamond
Cassville seeking to reclaim mantle of Big 8's best
With eight starters back on a team that went 14-12 overall and 5-2 in Big 8 play, Cassville has the makings of returning to the top of the conference and making a run for a district title.
This season, the Wildcats have a new skipper in Jade Samborski. With 19 years of coaching experience, Samborski has compiled a 82-78 record as a head coach. His goal is to take the Black and Gold to the next level in their performance ability.
"I'm excited to be the new head coach of the program and look forward to the challenges the season will present," Samborski said. "The outlook for the season is to continue to improve every day toward peaking at district time. This year's team has a lot of senior leadership, and our goals will be achieved by them leading us toward them."
Andrew Whitham is the only player Cassville lost to graduation. Whitham was 2-0 on the mound with a 4.55 ERA. At the plate, he hit .288 with 14 RBI.
Returning for Cassville are: Alex Dyer, Alex Vanderpool, Zane Everett, Chad Howerton, Leigh Cox and Noah Hadlow, seniors; Gavin White, junior; and Jeremiah Fisher, sophomore.
Dyer, according to Samborski, is a speedy leadoff man with the ability to set the table for the offense and score runs.
Vanderpool will once again anchor first base for the Wildcats. He will also be asked to chew up innings on the mound for Cassville.
Howerton is described by his coach as a solid outfielder that can set the table for the Wildcats on offense.
Cox is described by Samborski as the team leader at catcher who will be in the middle of the lineup, scoring and driving in runs. He will also get some quality innings on the mound.
"This year's season should be good," Dyer said. "We have a lot of seniors returning and some juniors that will make the team better than it has been in years. We will be more mentally-focused this year than the past four years that we have been together."
Cassville opens the season on Saturday with a doubleheader at Glendale against the host school and Carthage.