It was a late start for the Daniel Boone City County Jr. (16 years of age and under) baseball team this summer. They began practice just one week before the start of the season. That makes things difficult for any team they got off to a bit of a slow start.
The Blazaers are currently 4-6 in the City County Jr. League which isn't bad considering their start. But this is a team made up of mostly 14 and 15 -year-olds in a league with teams that boast a lot of 16-year-olds. In other words, it's a learning season for Daniel Boone as they try to get the players as much game experience as they can.
'That age difference does make a big impact,' said Daniel Boone Head Coach Harvey Pickell. 'However, we can honestly say we are holding our own. Out ream is passionate about baseball and every player needs to give %110 to meet the challenge. We are not to be taken lightly so we look forward to each game with intensity.
'One thing about this team is that we don't have any 'me' attitudes. They work as a team and produce as a team.
'The strength of this team is that they work as a team. The spirit, dedication and commitment of the team shows as each game they encounter they are ready to give %110. This may seem minor, but when you are facing teams with a lot of 16-year-olds, this can be intimidating. They are a young team willing to do what it takes to play the game and play it hard.'
What's hurting this team most right now is the offense. They've been shutout a few times as they have faced some tough pitching in recent games. The team has has held extra practices to deal with that one problem, so they are hoping the extra work will pay off as the season wears on.
Among the players on the team are: Buddy Alvaro - centerfield and shortstop; Andrew Baer - second baseman and pitcher; Andrew Cook - thrd baseman and catcher; Chris Ehlinger - outfielder and second base; Christian Fernandez - outfielder and catcher; Jordon Goodrich - pitcher and first baseman; Nick Hilbert - outfielder and pitcher; Alex Maloney - catcher and second baseman; Ray Miller - catcher and first baseman; Bryan O'Toole - shortstop; Michael Shackelford - outfielder and pitcher; Jake Winger - pitcher and first baseman; Ryan Zamichelli.
The hope is that the season goes on, the Blazers start to play more as a team as the players get to know each other better. For Coach Pickell, it's a matter of staying focused.
'We need to stay focused and continue playing as a team,' said. 'Every game counts and we need to be ready for every game.'