The Thunder Mountain High School baseball program starts early this year with two matchups in Ketchikan this weekend.
Falcons baseball lost 13 seniors last year. With a full JV program for the first time, and only two four-year players, there are more questions than answers for TMHS.
To add even more pressure on the Falcons, the Ketchikan games come two weeks earlier than planned. TMHS has lost two weeks of practice before their opening games as Kayhi had to reschedule.
Seniors Finn Collins and Zeb Storie talked about their “scrappy” potential this year.
“We don’t have as much talent as we had last year, but we’re working hard right now. If we work hard enough we can do a lot of good things this year, but it really depends on how hard the team works,” Collins said.
Zeb Storie added: “In previous years we had a lot more upperclassmen. Now we have a lot of underclassmen. We’re working harder than previous years and we want it a lot more. We have a lot of guys that can play different positions and know what they’re doing, and as the season gets on, we’ll be looking good.”
Storie added that, though the team is young and relatively untested, they won’t be setting their sights any lower than a berth to the state tournament.
“Thunder Mountain has never made it to the state playoffs, so that is definitely the goal this year, to break the ice, make it over the hump.”
Assistant Coach Todd Luck talked about how his team is coping with the schedule change.
“With the schedule being bumped up two weeks, we as coaches feel there’s a lot of areas to work on and there’s little time to cram it. This is like an 11th hour cram for a college final. We’ll be cramming stuff down their throats when we get on the ferry.”
Head coach Bill Macauley commented that, positionally, the Falcons have a lot of questions to answer.
“We have a lot of pitchers but they’re young, so we have a lot of development to do. We’re gonna have a lot of kids playing different positions. … lots of guys playing third, first base, completely new outfield,” Macauley said.
Thunder Mountain faces Kayhi this weekend both Friday and Saturday evening. Follow the Empire online for briefs as the games finish.