Dutch Fork baseball heads in a new direction this season under new coach Casey Waites, who spent nine seasons as an assistant under Andy Hallett at A.C. Flora.
DF opens the season this week at the annual RBI tournament at White Knoll.
Graduation exacted a heavy toll on last seasons team that finished 15-10 overall and 6-4 in Region 5-4A. In fact, senior shortstop Derek Olenchuk, the quarterback on the Silver Foxes state championship team in the fall, is the only everyday lineup starter in the fold.
The strength of the team could be the pitching staff headed by senior Erik Holton, who is committed to Lander University. Seniors Gordon Ziesing, Watson Harris and Avery Bone, juniors Tate Fant, Zach Ziesing, Forbes Elam andTyler Gasque and sophomore TJ Shook are all in the mound mix.
Otherwise, Adam Elsey, Josh Carter and TJ Shook are in line for starting positions in the outfield. Austin Ruger, Jacob Soloman, Avery Bone, and Zach Ziesing are in the hunt for playing time at the corner infield positions. Senior JoJo Markle projects to start at second base. Senior Nik Sitterly and junior Blake Smith are competing for the starting catching spot.