Sequoyah baseball players slide into the new season

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As the baseball season is beginning, the Chiefs look to bounce back after losing in last year’s first round of the state playoffs.  

Lane Whitley, varsity baseball head coach, has high expectations for the season, expecting the team to go even farther into the playoffs than last year. 

“We should be able to repeat and go deeper in the state playoffs,” Whitley said.  

Junior Aaron Hupp practices fielding ground balls during practice. The team’s season ended losing in the first round of the playoffs last year.

Whitley suffered from a hip injury last season, which held him back from helping the team out to his highest ability. Despite this misfortune during the year, there were also many positives throughout the season.  

“We had a few of the younger pitchers that came up, and they did a good job pitching. They kind of had a bulldog mentality. They got out there and just battled,” Whitley said. “We did a good job on the field, not making a lot of errors.” 

Junior Colin Koprowski is determined to take a big leadership role and become more vocal while on the field this season. 

“[I am going] to try and lead my teammates and give them a chance to play in the playoffs because it gets ten times better when you’re in the playoffs,” Koprowski said. “Just going out there and giving it my all whether it’s on the mound or on the field or at the plate. I’m just going to do my best and hopefully [my teammates will trust that I’ll do my job].” 

Koprowski’s expectations are no different from last year; he hopes to get back to the playoffs, but it will not be an easy road to get there.  

“Our expectation is to make the playoffs like we did last year, and Coach Whitley has already made that clear that we need to start a tradition of always being in the playoffs, but we are young, so we are going to have to have some kids step up,” Koprowski said.  

Senior Mason Savely’s main goal this year is to not only win games, but to do so while giving it his all, night in and night out. 

“My biggest goal is to practice hard and win some ball games. As for the team, we are brothers who work hard and have each other’s backs,” Savely said. “Our main goal should be as soon as we step over that line, play with your heart and all you got.   

Savely has been playing baseball since he was a toddler and fell in love with the game in a different way than most people. It all started with him playing with his dog.  

“I’d play fetch with my dog when I was younger, and he’d keep bringing it back and I’d just keep throwing it,” Savely said.  

Since it is Savely’s last season, he wants it to be a very special one that he will remember forever.  

“It means everything to me, whether we do good or [bad] during the season, I just want it to be a game I can enjoy before going off to college and I want to have a good time with all my teammates while it lasts,” Savely said.