Wolverines will rely on pitching and defense
Seniors Wyatt Weber, Ricky Price and Isaac Laughlin will be anchoring the team this season as the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines build their team around pitching and defense.
Weber will give the Wolverines a veteran backstop.
"Defensively he's huge," WDC head coach Kyle Dykhoff said. "He's got a big arm."
Price "has the potential to drive the ball" according to Dykhoff, who wants to employ his bat somewhere in the middle of the lineup. Price will do some pitching for the Wolverines and will also DH and play first.
Laughlin is expected to be one of WDC's top pitchers but he will also give the Wolverines a lot of flexibility with his ability to play third base, behind the plate and in the outfield.
Juniors include Tristan LeComte and Ian Olson. LeComte will see action at second base and outfield. Olson is tabbed for the outfield.
The Wolverines are loaded with sophomores. but only two of them, Dylan Phillips and Zach Schertler, saw varsity action last year. Phillips can play both infield and outfield spots. Schertler played in the outfield as a freshman but will move to short this season. Dykhoff would like to use him in the lead-off spot of the batting order.
The rest of the WDC sophomores include Thomas Brekke (outfield), Kyle Kern (infield), Jarret Pettit (infield/catcher), Tanner Horn (infield), Michael Behl (first base/outfield/designated hitter), Logan Schmitz (pitcher/infielder), Joe Wallgren (pitcher), Mitch Janson (catcher/infielder) and Wyatt Fitzsimmons (second base).
Eighth-grader Jake Dykhoff is expected to find a place with the varsity after playing American Legion baseball last year.
"He's a versatile player, he can play anywhere on the field," Dykhoff said. "In talking to the seniors they said he belongs with us this season."
Dykhoff rates Staples-Motley, Perham and Park Rapids as top teams in the Park Region Conference.
"We are young but there is no reason we can't be a .500 team," Dykhoff said.