Hornet Baseball Team Has New Head Coach
The Hundred Hornet Baseball Team has a new foundation on which to build for a successful season. The first step was a new head coach in Jeremy Kelch. Kelch was the Hornets’ catcher not too many years ago and knows what the players have gone through. He also has the tools for turning them around rather quickly.
The next step was to retain Assistant Coach Terry Riter who knows the system quite well. With the two guys in charge in place, they will need to get over the loss of Corey Kimble to graduation and the loss of their field until sometime in April.
However, the cost of losing their home field doesn’t dampen the spirits of Kelch and Riter. “I will be able to start and build for the future,” said Kelch. “Age wise we are young, but we have experience everywhere. The guys are working really hard, putting time and effort in. They are willing to learn and get better. They have the right attitude, a winning attitude, that will help this season go well.”
The youth of the Hornets will be guided by seniors Jesse Tedrow, Zach Watson and Zach Phillips. It’s Tedrow’s first season in baseball, but his leadership and aggressive play can only rub off. Phillips is a natural born leader and will be a dominant force from the mound to the field and plate in addition to his great leadership like he had showed in football and basketball.
Tedrow looks to be the number one starter on the mound. But, with more players than the Hornets have had in years, they will have some depth. Dalton Kuhn is back. He was the number two pitcher behind Kimble a season ago and has excellent skills along with a fastball and devastating curve that buckles batters. Watson is the only four-year letterman and is the teams heart and soul.
Kelch also will have junior Shane Kuhn to throw some innings when he isn’t catching Tedrow. Shane’s brother, Dalton, also is on the roster. However, the Hornets have depth at the pitching spot with numerous players who can throw the heat,
Zach Phillips, Roger Stalnaker and Nick Phillips each present a problem for batters. “We have a good group of pitchers this season,” said Kelch.
“Jesse Tedrow and Dalton Kuhn will be our workhorses on the staff. They both throw strikes and will keep us in games.”
In the outfield, the Hornets have speed at left and center in Mitch Moore and Zach Watson. Both these boys not only can run down flies in the outfield, they can keep opposing base runners from trying to move an extra base with their strong arms. They also make consistent contact at the plate.
Others who will be competing for playing time include Nathan Kernan, Zach White, Toby Marlow, Jade Haines, Mhar Olayan, Tyler Opyoke and Chris Varner.
Despite not practicing much outside, the Hornets have looked good at the dish during pre-season with consistent contact, according to Riter. “The more reps with live pitching, the better you become. Hitting is contagious. Its hard to gauge prior to an actual game, but one of our keys to a successful season will be our team speed. The key to using our speed is getting on base. We can’t use the speed without hitting and getting on base.”
The Hundred boys are eagerly waiting to zip around the bases, but must wait for the weather to cooperate. The Hornets will play their first couple weeks on the road and are hoping to showcase their skills in front of their home crowd April 7, against county rival Paden City. But, first, they must travel to Jefferson-Morgan, Trinity, Valley and Paden City.