Baseball looks forward to successful season

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Following in the footsteps of a legend is never easy, but the Wildcat baseball team is looking to make history. Though he left behind a lasting legacy, a state championship evaded Coach Jim Jefferson, despite all his wins. With only six graduating seniors, much of last year’s squad remains, creating a multitude of upperclassmen ready to get over the hump. Coach Russell Wren begins his second season while returning starters, seniors Hays Meyer and Kyle Murphy and juniors Conrad Cornell and Jake Johnson lead a Westminster team that could be on the verge of something special.

“This year’s team has more talent and potential than in any of my four years on varsity,” said Murphy.

Before the season started, Wrenn had all his players write down three things: a personal baseball goal, a team baseball goal, but also a non-baseball related goal. Upon creating their three goals, there was one common theme within them all. In nearly every one, the goal was to win a state championship.

“[I] can’t tell folks how inspired I am right now after reading some of the goals and testaments that have come in already,” said Wrenn.

But this excitement doesn’t end with just the coach. All the players have bought into this aspiration.

“Our goal every year is no short of winning the region and making the playoffs,” said junior Nelson Douglas. “But this year we believe the state title is within our grasp.”

With such a lofty goal comes great responsibility, and no one has been more ready for the challenge than Coach Wrenn himself. With his structured practice regimen and pregame routines, the team is ready to compete.  With college coaching experience at both Johns Hopkins and Dickinson College, Wrenn is ready to lead to the team to victory.

“Coach Wrenn has revitalized the program in such a huge way and has given us a chance to make a run,” said senior Merritt Huber. “He operates a great system and we appreciate all the knowledge he brings to the team.”

Like in previous years within the baseball program, there one freshman on the roster, Rankin Woley.  Although he remains the only freshmen in the upperclassman-dominated locker room, he does not feel any added pressure.

“It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m just happy to have the honor,” said Woley. “There isn’t any added pressure, just some extra excitement that I’m sure will wear off as the season progresses.”

Yet no season can truly be successful unless you know what you are up against, and in that respect, this year’s squad surely has all the bases covered. With the numerous charts on opposing pitchers and batters, Wrenn takes every last measure to prepare for the next opponent. With last year’s change in region, the Wildcats now only face Lovett, GAC, Hapeville Charter, and Wesleyan within the  region schedule. The recurring matchups will be critical to the team’s success and scouting is the only way to gain the edge over the stiff competition.

“Scouting the talent of the region is most important as we get to see what we are up against come playoff time,” said Murphy.

Murphy shares many of the sentiments with the other players as they all have devoted themselves to studying every little detail of Wrenn’s scouting objectives. Yet the scouting of another team can only get you so far, so Wrenn has applied these very same strategies to Westminster’s players. Every pitcher now has the opportunity to see any flaw within his game and alter it based on the information given. This helps the team become more sound and able to perform on a day-to-day and game-to-game basis.

“Coach Wrenn’s philosophy is a great advantage for us as players,” said junior Luke Johnson. “He gives us a better chance to understand our mistakes and learn from them on the field.”

Having already started the season 2-0, with wins against Holy Innocents and Pace Academy, this year’s Wildcat team looks poised for great things. With the upper-class leadership infused with promising young talent, it’s no wonder the players are aiming for a state title. With Coach Wrenn’s baseball knowledge and hard work,, there’s nothing this squad won’t be prepared for.

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