Staples returns as 'Hounds' head coach
After two years under the helm of Eric Hon, the Sweet Springs Greyhounds' baseball team returns to the capable hands of Mike Staples.
Staples needed the break from being head coach, but he is looking forward to calling the shots again.
"I'm really looking forward to getting back in the saddle as head coach," Staples said. "I really appreciate coach Hon's efforts the last two years and hope to build on the solid, fundamental foundation he left me with."
Staples inherits talent all over the diamond, including a roster that numbers 18.
Three of the members of the roster are seniors, including Colby Dohrman, Brandon Evans and Kody Koch.
All three seniors are penciled in as starters, along with junior Derrick Nelson and sophomores Jeffery Hall and Jacob Schowengerdt.
Still, the Greyhounds must replace four starters, including two starting pitchers.
"The key to the season will be starting pitchers Derrick Nel-son and Jacob Schowengerdt and building a solid middle-of-the-field defense," Staples said. "There are several spots that are being competed for, including shortstop and second base."
The Greyhounds also have to be productive at the plate.
"Offensively, I hope to build on the progress we made toward the end of (last) season, as we had several players finish strong, including Brandon Evans and Colby Dohrman," Staples said.
Losing starting pitcher David Hall will hurt, but Staples is hopeful freshman Andrew Krause will step in and perform at a high level.
"After two years of junior-varsity baseball, it looks like juniors Adam Martin, Matt Harris, Jeffery Dierker and Joey Terwilliger are ready to step up," Staples said. "But they are being pushed by sophomores Nathan Vogelsmeier, Zach Weber and freshmen Krause and Austin Bo-land.
"I expect Koch and Hall to provide us with solid bats and strong defense."
The Greyhounds, 5-8 in 2011, opened the season at home versus Wellington Monday. They play at Northwest Friday at 4:30 p.m. The Greyhounds host Lone Jack next Monday at 4:30 p.m.