The Peaster Greyhounds experienced their share of struggles last season, missing the playoffs after back-to-back trips to the Class 3A regional finals in 2017 and 2018, the latter of which saw a large contingent of the team graduate following their latest, deep postseason run.
However, while the Greyhounds proved young in 2019, another year of experience under their belts has Head Coach Lynn Grimes eager to get his squad’s latest campaign underway.
“I”m excited, this is my 30th season to coach,” Grimes said.
“Anytime baseball starts coming around, it always brings out the youth in me. I don’t know if I can remember a time baseball wasn’t a part of my life.
“Each year is a challenge, I want these kids to have a great year and create a lot of memories, and I just hope I can be a little part of their lives for a little bit and help them out.”
Peaster is set to feature a good mix of sophomores, juniors and seniors, the latter of which exudes great leadership potential, Grimes said.
“I’ve been really excited with our seniors,” Grimes said.
“A lot of them last year were juniors who didn’t have a lot of varsity experience, but they got a lot last year and have really worked hard. I see Caden Farmer, who’s our shortstop, adding a lot of leadership. Ty Seay, Colby Wooster, Garrett Hardin and Jesus Rangel are all good seniors. Those guys have really put a lot of time in and are going to have a special year.”
Farmer for one expressed confidence in the Greyhounds’ ability to make it back to the postseason.
“I really think we can make a deep run in the playoffs,” Farmer said.
“We’ve all been working hard in the offseason. I think we can build on last year.”
While somewhat inexperienced at the varsity level last season, Grimes said his returning 2019 freshmen and sophomores stand to provide great contributions to the team.
“Daniel Gomez started for us at second base as a freshman, he’s a year older and more experienced,” Grimes said.
“Zane O’Donnell is another sophomore who will add a lot of speed and power which will really help our team. We’ve also got Carter McCullogh, a junior who’s gonna be a big part of our team as our catcher and in the middle of our lineup. He’s worked really hard and has come a long way. Major Glenn played center field for us and is returning, Curtis Pugh is very versatile. Jospeh Grimes will be returning on the mound. He’ll pitch as well as play first and third.”
The Greyhounds kick things off with a trio of tournament appearances including Hillsboro, the American Cancer Society Tournament and Windthorst.
Grimes said each of the three abovementioned tournaments stand to feature stout competition ranging from classes 2A to 4A, while adding that the Greyhounds stand to benefit immensely from the large number of innings and at bats they’ll get at all three.
“We’ll be able to get our work in,” Grimes said.
“I think that really sets the tone, especially early in the season, you want to get as many innings in as you can, as many at bats as you can.
“You hope you can get all those innings under your belt before you start district.”
Speaking of district, Peaster will continue to be challenged after the conclusion of tournament play in a highly competitive District 7-3A landscape, Grimes said, citing the large amount of returning varsity players each team possesses.
“Looking at it, most of the teams have a lot coming back,” Grimes said.
“We’re gonna have to really battle. You’ve got Breckenridge who is picked to win the district, they’ve got most of theirs back. They made a big run in the playoffs, and then you’ve got Brock, who made a huge run. Boyd and Paradise will be tough.
“I think there’s a lot of teams in this district that on any given night can beat each other. So it’s gonna be a marathon, all about perseverance. Not looking ahead or behind, you’ve just gotta go game by game.”