Warriors expecting to mesh on the fly

In high school sports there always seems to be a senior-laden team. For Central High School, that was the 2008 baseball team, which finished 11-8 with a group of 12 seniors, including
nine starters. 

With that varsity experience missing, Central expects to have some growing pains this spring.

“It doesn’t happen all the time where you have 12 seniors,” Warriors coach Chuck Yost said.

“So the seniors we do have are a little green and our juniors don’t have a lot of experience.

We know there is going to be a little bit of a learning curve.”

In Central’s first two games this season, the Warriors gave up a 5-0 lead and lost 14-7 to Woodland Park, but responded with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Golden.

Central gained a lot of perspective from its first two games.

“It was big for our confidence,” Yost said. “For young kids to win a close game like that showed them what they can do if they don’t panic.”

Although Central doesn’t have a lot of varsity experience, the Warriors do have six seniors, including lone returning starter Travis Key at catcher. A three-sport athlete, Key has signed to play baseball next year at Eastern Arizona College. Yost said Key will have to play composed this season to be successful.

“He has to relax and just play baseball,” Yost said. “He has to know he can’t do too much and must lead by example on and off the field.”

Key will be working with a group of pitchers, led by John Woods and Scott Clow. Alex Kitzman, Dane Barsland, Holden Reed and Tanner Reid also will see time on the mound.

Key contributors in the infield include first baseman Dylan Begg and Kyle Brown and Spencer Hicks. Begg already showcased some power, hitting a two-run home run in his first at-bat. The outfield consists of Lanny Baker, Holden Reed and Alex Heide.

Yost said several players can move their way into crucial playing time this season.

“It will take everyone contributing,” Yost said. “We are going to have 12 to 13 guys that are going to have to help us in some way.”

Central went 1-1 in the Fanning Classic and begins a spring break trip Wednesday in Denver against Rangeview. The Warriors also play Hinkley and Pueblo West during the trip.


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