Wildcats gear up for upcoming baseball season

Jacob Jennings, staff reporter

Although there may be six inches of snow on the ground and temperatures hovering in the 30s, the De Soto High School Wildcats are gearing up for the upcoming 2013 baseball season.

“My expectations are very high, like they are every year,” said Head Baseball Coach Joel Thaemert.

Last year was bittersweet, with varsity making it all the way to the Regional semifinals, where they lost to the St. James Thunder 2-0.

Seven starters graduated last year and five of the seven are now playing baseball in college. The few returning starters will have their hands full with the stiff competition in and out of league.

“There are so many good teams this year, it’s ridiculous,” Thaemert said. “Both our league schedule and our out of league schedule is going to be really good.”

Spring Hill, Ottawa and Baldwin are a few of the teams that have the potential to be tough opponents in league. Outside of their league, the Wildcats play difficult games against Mill Valley, Blue Valley North, Olathe North, Lansing and Piper.

“Our record might not be as good as we play,” Thaemert said.

However, he is positive that De Soto can achieve success.

“Our success could be a State Championship, or just building chemistry and camaraderie, regardless of how many wins we get.” Thaemert said.

The assistant coaches this year are Darren Erpelding and Brett Hothan, who both played baseball in college. The freshman coach is Brian King.

Tryouts wrapped up on Friday, March 1 for varsity, JV and C team and practices began the following Monday. However, because of the snow still on the ground, the teams have been forced to mostly practice indoors for the time being.

The Wildcats’ first game is March 25 at home against the Leavenworth Pioneers.