MINERVA - The Minerva-Newcomb Mountaineers welcome back several returning seniors in hopes of being the team to beat in the South this year.
Coach Edward LaCourse of Newcomb has been with the team for 13 years and expressed a lot of confidence in the players returning to the field this year. He will miss Kevin Yandon at first base, Sam Kelly as number one pitcher and Devin Tokarz in the outfield. They went 6 - 4 in the league and 7 - 5 overall in 2009.
"They each leave significant holes in their positions, but we have worked hard to fill in those holes," said LaCourse.
He is expecting big things from Japanese international student Tatsuki Miyozato on the mound.
"He is an outstanding player who has a good fast-ball and excellent off speed pitches," said LaCourse.
LaCourse believes Miyozato will be the difference between a first place finish and a second place finish behind Johnsburg.
The Moutaineers also return three strong seniors including strong hitter and returning all-star Brandon Poulton, Branden Tokarz in the outfield and Jesse Montanye as lead-off hitter and infielder. In a relatively young line-up, these three will make up the core hitting power for Minerva-Newcomb.
"If these boys hit well and do their jobs in the field, we will be dangerous," said LaCourse.
LaCourse is also looking to get a lot out of sophomore Dylan Saville. He will be behind the mound with a great arm and should throw out a lot of runners, according to LaCourse.
Seniors Roger Kelly and Sorravit Bunjongpean will see playing time at infield. Junior Jonas Urwyler will join them along with Sophomore Morgan Winslow at 1st base. The outfield will be complete with seniors Brandon Dunbar and Chi Ueawriyanuken, junior Cody Clickner, and sophomores Ben Fish and Calbert Galusha.