The Whiteoak Wildcats baseball team closed the 2017 season with a District Semi-Final loss to Waterford at Paints Stadium in Chillicothe.
Whiteoak posted a regular season record of 10-10 and finished 11-11 overall. The Wildcats look to improve on that record in the upcoming season as they return five varsity letter winners from the 2017 squad.
Head coach Chris Veidt expects the returning players to contribute a great deal of leadership for his team during the upcoming season.
“We have a solid nucleus of returning letter winners. Seniors Trever Yeager, Caleb West, and Juniors Traeten Hamilton, Evan Brill, and Chase Butler all had exceptional years for us last year. I expect those five players to be the foundation for everything we do this season and they will also be who I look to for leadership on this team,” Veidt said.
Following what was a lackluster 2017 season Veidt has set high goals for his team this season.
“Our team goals are 20 plus wins, Southern Hills Athletic Conference Championship, Southeast District Championship and anything past that point would be a bonus for us. It would be great to get to Columbus with this group,” Veidt said excitedly.
The Wildcats coach has two freshmen on the team this season, Michael Igo and Jacob Gross, but he does not anticipate them playing a major role this season.
“We have a very strong sophomore, junior and senior classes. It will be very difficult for Frosh to contribute immediately. However, nothing is impossible through hard work,” coach Veidt said.
Whiteoak will also have the use of a newly completed indoor hitting facility starting this season that will allow the team to practice their swing regardless of weather.
Coach Veidt and the Wildcats were honored at the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association clinic in January 2018 as the inaugural statewide Field of the Year. The team will receive product to use on the baseball field throughout the season to keep it in tip top shape.
Wildcats head coach Veidt talked about the support that the community has shown the baseball program over the years and invited everyone to come out and support them again this season.
“Our community is always very supportive! With this group, if they put the work in, and enjoy being teammates with each other, the sky is the limit. Who knows? They may be able to witness history,” said Veidt.
The Wildcats open their season with three straight road games before making their home debut on Wednesday, March 28, when they host SHAC rivals the West Union Dragons.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.