Cougar team is young, but has solid potential

CHESTERTOWN - The North Warren Varsity Baseball Team is seeking to stay competitive in the Adirondack League this year despite the loss of two strong seniors from last year's team and a lineup of young players undertaking key roles.

Coach Jason Humiston, leading the Cougars for nine years, acknowledges that the 2010 players should be able to rally and attain their goal of a .500 record this season. The team tallied 6-11 last year. Keep in mind that North Warren is the smallest school in a highly-competitive league.

In 2009, John Remington was number one on the mound for Humiston and after graduation last June, left some big shoes to fill after graduation. Lou Galarza boasted a strong arm for the Cougars at catcher last year. Both hit well, batting over .450 for the season.

"A young team always has gaps - and no doubt, we are going to do the best we can with the talent that we have," Humiston said.

Some of the seniors on the roster are just joining baseball, and it will take time for them to settle into new roles, he said..

Senior Jeff Bennett and Junior Cody Higgins will undoubtedly step up and lead the team this year, Humiston said. Higgins can definitely throw strikes, and he'll be a strong force in keeping the team consistent. Bennett brings the promise of hitting ability to the starting lineup.

"I think we can go .500," said Humiston. "It may be a lofty goal, but if we stay consistent, it will happen."

Consistency seems to be the name of the game for the Cougars this year. Humiston said that they often play four good innings followed by three poor ones and that's why they have lost several early-season games.

"We need to find consistency and then go from there," he said.

Curtis Breuer will switch between catcher with Robert French and second base with Will Jay. Tom Hanaburgh, Craig Smith, Ryan Otruba and Tyler Jensen will lead the outfield. Greg Dower will start at third base and Kristian Seeley at first base. Bennett will share the mound with shortstop Travis Monroe.

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