Baseball: Division III
Head Coach - Tom Russell, second year as varsity coach.
The Leland & Gray baseball team is on a roll, coming off back-to-back state championships, with last years title coming under first-year coach Russell, who now begins his second season at the helm.
After losing three seniors to graduation, the Rebels still return plenty of championship experience including seniors Tyler Russell, Zac Peterson, Gabe Pozzi and junior Collin Nystrom, who are also this years' captains.
In fact, nine players on the roster have a state title under the belt and a couple have two, that's some pretty good experience to have heading into the season.
"We have a lot of players on this team that know how to win and have that championship experience under their belts," coach Russell said in a recent interview.
"That can go a long way when tournament time comes around. However, I always stess to the players that you still have to go out and work hard and take nothing for granted. And these kids are working hard."
Offensively, the Rebels have plenty of contact hitters and speed, which is why they like to put pressure on the opponent by stealing bases, hitting and running and taking the extra base as often as possible.
"We got some good speed in the line up, therefore we like to utilize that speed and put added pressure on the defense to make plays."
Nystom and sophomore Brandon Reilley will set the table at the top of the order, with Russell, Pozzi, Peterson and junior VanOsdol filling out the heart of the line up.
Defensively, the Rebels are strong up the middle with Russell behind the plate, Nystrom and James Crowtherat alternating at second base and shortstop and Reilly in center field.
The corner infield positions will be manned by Peterson at third base and junior Tyler Miller at first.