PILLAGER -- First-year head coach Jerry Fornshell has a ton of talent, but with only one senior and five returning letterwinners experience will be a problem for the Pillager Huskies baseball team.
"We're a very young team," said Fornshell, "We're looking for a fairly good year. This is a rebuilding year but it's a good group of kids."
The young group will be lead by sophomore Lee Roberts (pitcher, shortstop). Last year Roberts received honorable mention All-Park Region Conference honors. He batted .371 with 26 hits and 20 runs for a team that was 4-18.
Baseball coach -- Jerry Fornshell, 1st year
1999 finish -- 4-18 overall
Assistant coaches -- Pete Bothun
Softball coach -- Larry Lightner, 1st year
1999 finish -- first year of program
Assistant coaches -- Penny Dobson
Track coach -- James Bentson (boys) 1st year, Holly Cervin (girls) 1st year
Assistant coach -- Terry Hollingsworth, Lynne Wilzbacher
Other returning letterwinners are sophomores Jeff Eastman (pitcher, infield), Kylie Skeesick (catcher, pitcher), Charlie Bement (outfield) and freshmen Eric Fornshell (catcher, infield)
Additional varsity members
Senior - Josh Eastman; sophomores - Tim Austed (outfield), Aaron Anderson (infield), Aaron Kulok (infield), Skipper Laport (outfield), Joel Gaalswyk (infield); freshmen - Travis Buckingham (outfield), Luke Gaalswyk (outfield).
Not only is this Larry Lightner's first year of coaching Pillager softball. It's also the year the Huskies' softball program has been resurrected.
Last year the softball team played only a junior varsity schedule. With one junior and the rest sophomores or freshmen, gaining experience will be key.
"After last year's non-competitive season the coaching staff hopes to begin building a competitive program," said Lightner. "We have large numbers in the younger ages and hope to give them good experiences so they can move up to the next competitive level in the future."
Becky Kadus (catcher, outfield) is the only junior. Sophomores Heather McCulley (pitcher, infield) and Jackie Stoll (pitcher, infield), along with freshmen Samantha Sullivan (second base, outfield), Kali Hoheisel (shortstop), Pam Lease (pitcher, outfield) and Beth Smith (pitcher, infield) all return from last year's squad.
Additional varsity candidates
Freshmen - Ashley Albachten, Amorette Borst; eight-grade - Katie Rasinski, Laura Rahm.
Senior captain Carl Wiegert and junior Mitch Wyffels return to the Pillager boys' track and field team after setting school records.
Wiegert, who was fourth in the high jump at the last year's subsection meet, set the record in that event with a leap of six feet. Wyffels set his record in the pole vault with a 10-8 effort.
For first-year coach James Bentson this could be a productive year with seven returning letterwinners. Juniors Eric Pook, Jake Nygren and Ricky Walker return as does sophomore Steve Bethel and eighth-grader Luke Kavanaugh.
Additional varsity members
Junior - Mitch Steffen; freshmen - Mark Gaalswyk, Tyrone Farber, Robert Bethel, Tony Szczodroski.
First-year head coach Holly Cervin will rely heavily on the leadership of Tami Bethel (pole vault) and Beth Plotz (shot and disk) to lead a young girls' track and field squad.
Bethel, a senior, pole vaulted 5-6 to set the school record. Plotz is a sophomore captain. Junior Sarah Venske (sprints) is also on the roster.
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