Cisar Back for More With Eagles
NEW MARTINSVILLE – Dave Cisar is a nothing short of a coaching legend.
Cisar is nearly 70-years-young and still exudes boundless passion and enthusiasm. Last year was an aberration in Magnolia High baseball annals. The Blue Eagles – void of a senior – experienced an 8-19 season.
Magnolia has been averaging more than 18 wins a season over the past decade, including five seasons with at least 20 wins. With a boat load of experience back in the fold, look for the Blue Eagles to take flight again this spring.
Moreover, Cisar has recorded more than 800 victories in his 42 seasons at Magnolia’s helm. He led the Blue Eagles to the 2006 state Class AA championship.
“There is no doom and gloom here. We will be back. We have a lot of experience,” Cisar said. “Last year, we played most of the best Class AA teams in the state. We started 0-11 but finished the season playing much better. So we have some momentum going into the season.”
Due to the success of Coach Dave Tallman’s Blue Eagles’ hoop team, Cisar’s crew gets a later start than most West Virginia schools. That doesn’t bother Cisar in the least.
“We have three baseball players on the basketball team. I am rooting like crazy for them, just like I did for our football team.
In a small school, we all pull for one another,” he said. “I am happy and excited for them. With the success of our football and basketball teams, we may have a bull’s eye on our backs.”
Magnolia boasts a horse behind the plate in Nick Priem. The talented catcher – who was the quarterback for the state champion Blue Eagle gridders – enjoyed a sparkling sophomore campaign, one in which he went 26-80 for a sharp .325 average and was superb defensively. Sophomore Austin Klug is his understudy.
Derek Blain is a two-pronged plus for the Blue Eagles. The talented senior mans first base when he is not on the hill. He batted .355 last year while going 2-3 on the mound with a 3.80 ERA.
Senior Zach Haught will handle first when Blain is pitching. Haught batted .333 last spring.
Tanner McAdams is another versatile senior. He returns as the regular second baseman after hitting .258 last year. He is also a spot pitcher. Junior Drew Harrick will also see some time at second.
Shortstop is in the excellent hands of Brandon Mason. The senior is a defensive gem and produces at the plate, hitting a solid .333 a year ago.
Cisar is high on two frosh middle infielders – Patrick Mirandy and Dakota Litton.
Third base is the territory of first-team all-state football player Tyler Anderson. The senior also can pitch, compiling a 3-2 mark with a 4.00 ERA as a junior. He hit over .400 as a sophomore.
The outfield is in good hands as all the starters return with with quality backups also in in the fold.
Senior Garrett Price is a fixture in left while classmate Joe Ledergerber is a “solid .300 hitter” in right.
Chase Miller is a dandy is centerfield. The four-year starter was one of the top hitters in the Ohio Valley last spring, going 44-97 for a robust .454 average. He has great speed and can also see spot duty on the mound.
Depth in centerfield comes in the form of a trio of quality players, including junior Dillon Conner and sophomores Billy Nice and Dalton Prichard. The corner outfield spots are backed by sophomore Braden Leasure and freshmen Jacob Kocher and Matt Gaiser.
“We are positive about the season. We are more experienced and have several kids who can pitch,” Cisar said. “But for us to be successful we must play good defense and our pitchers must pitch.”
Cisar is assisted by John Smith. He is the Blue Eagles’ defensive coordinator in football and was an excellent football player for Cisar in football and baseball.
Magnolia’s varsity schedule:
March 31: at Cameron 5 p.m.
April 2: Monroe Central (DH) Noon
April 4: at Clay-Battelle 5 p.m.
April 5: at Valley 5 p.m.
April 6: Bishop Donahue 5 p.m.
April 7: at John Marshall 5 p.m.
April 9: St. Marys (V/JV) 1 p.m.
April 11: at Frontier 5 p.m.
April 12: at Tyler Consolidated 5 p.m.
April 13: Paden City 5 p.m.
April 14: Wheeling Central 5 p.m.
April 15: Fort Frye 5:30 p.m.
April 16: at North Marion 5 p.m.
April 18: at Paden City 5 p.m.
April 19: at Bishop Donahue 5 p.m.
April 20: Tyler Consolidated 5 p.m.
April 23: Monroe Central & Warren JFK Noon
April 25: River 4:30 p.m.
April 26: Clay-Battelle 5:30 p.m.
April 27: St. John Central: 5 p.m.
April 28: Cameron 6 p.m.
May 2: John Marshall 5:30 p.m.
May 3: at Wheeling Central 5 p.m.
May 4: North Marion 5 p.m.