JOHNSBURG - Veteran coach Tim Leach lost a large part of his pitching staff and hitting talent last year, but is encouraged by the experience that will return to the field this year.
Leach has been coaching the team for 24 years. Last year's record was 5 - 5 in conference play and 6 - 9 over all.
Pitchers lost to 2009 graduation included Josh Harvey, Anthony Hyde and Andrew Sherrick. The Jaguars also lost several solid hitters including Dalton Ordway, Nick McCaroll, Cody Wolf and Michael Couzens.
The Jaguar roster includes only two seniors and will rely on a strong group of juniors to lead the way.
"We are young, but experienced," said Leach. "We will rely on that experience and I think it will take us pretty far."
Dylan Wolfe will be strong behind the mound and will rotate into the outfield. Ben Richard will step up to begin establishing a new pitching staff with Kevin Conner moving in as a clutch hitter. Sean O'Neill will start at shortstop and Travis Plansker will start at third.
The lone seniors on the team include Cory Gazaille and Darren Goodspeed in the outfield. Juniors Lance Baker and Matt Henry will join them and sophomores Dustin Weller and Chris Scott will round out the outfield.
Sophomore Taylor Ordway and Liam Harrison will rotate between infield and occasionally take the mound.
Leach sees Johnsburg as one of the top contenders for the division title and hopes to be competitive outside the league as well.
"We are as experienced as anyone else out there and we will be in the hunt," said Leach.
He knows Indian Lake/Long Lake will be a forminable opponent who will not give away their section VII title easily. Minerva\Newcomb will be the wildcard of the league, he said and should not be overlooked.