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Friday, May 6, 2016

Monett Cubs return lots of experience this spring

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Practice has begun for the Monett High School baseball team. Pitcher Andy Hagedorn tested his arm against batter Jake Smith with catcher Jeff Craft behind the plate at the North Park ballfield on Tuesday, [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Experience will be key for the Monett baseball team this spring with the Cubs ranked among the strongest teams in the always competitive Big 8 Conference.

"I am excited about the potential of the upcoming season," said Coach Michael Calhoun. "We have a lot of eager, experienced young men back and ready to compete.

"I think just falling short last season in both conference and district races last season will give us that added motivation to do our best," added Coach Calhoun, who is assisted by Ty Goetz.

One senior and four juniors return from last year's starting line-up. Spenser Witt returns for his senior season after garnering a host of honors for his performance on the field in 2009. Witt, who plays centerfield, earned first team All-Conference, All-District and All-Area recognition and was also named to the All-State second team.

Other returning starters include: junior Colten Phillips, shortstop; junior Jesse Bremer, pitcher, first base and outfield; junior Marcus Enloe, third base and pitcher; and junior Jake Smith, catcher.

The Cubs will also be relying on the experience of returning lettermen Marcus McCaffery, a junior pitcher.

Coach Calhoun has listed a number of top prospects that he is expecting will make an impact this season. Those players include: junior Chris Trout, infield; junior Andy Hagedorn, outfield and pitcher; junior Doug Aldridge, outfield and pitcher; sophomore Jarred Witt, infield and outfield; sophomore Carlin Bailey, outfield and pitcher; sophomore Matt Schiffner, pitcher, third base and first base; sophomore Jackson Burnside, first base; sophomore Jeff Craft, catcher; freshman Nicky Roberts, second base; freshman Nick Childress, outfield; freshman Aaron Patton, first base and pitcher; freshman Jeffery Gilmartin, infield; freshman Connor Lauderdale, infield; freshman Jake Ridings, outfield; and freshman Kurran Blamey, outfield.

"We are going to throw strikes, play solid defense and put pressure on the other team offensively if given the chance," said Coach Calhoun.

Looking ahead to Big 8 play, Coach Calhoun expects Carl Junction, Mt. Vernon and Cassville to field strong teams this year.

"You also can't look past the rest of our ever improving conference or you'll get bit," said Calhoun. "The district tournament will be as competitive as last year with not only teams in our conference but the COC (Central Ozark Conference) as well."

Monett will open the season on Monday, March 22 when they travel to Springfield to play Parkview High School. The Cubs first home game will be April 1 against Crane. Last season, the Cubs were 14-6 overall and 5-2 in the Big 8 where they finished second.

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