Lion nine regroups after setbacks, expect better year
Team untested but coach says has new attitude
The St. Helens High baseball has struggled with tragedy, some missteps, and a series of coaches over the last couple of years, but new head Coach Jeff Timmons thinks things are turning around.
These kids just want to play ball, Timmons said. Hes coached or taught the current group of players, many going back to elementary school. Some on the team have had four coaches in three years.
Timmons, 35, has been the jayvee or freshman coach for several years. So its a familiar face at the helm for the kids.
The 2013 version of the Lions is a mixture of veterans with a lot of young underclassmen on the team. Some 30 players in all turned out for the varsity and jayvee teams. Timmons will keep 14 on the varsity, including seven sophomores and a freshman. There are just four seniors and six juniors out, and three of those juniors will be on the jayvee team. The rest are sophomores and freshmen.
Theyre looking good and pretty strong, Timmons said. Its really hard to tell without any outdoor practice. They are hitting the ball hard in the cage and everybody has a good positive attitude. We look solid with the glove.
Through last week, the team had been outside only a couple of time. Friday and much of the weekend was spent working getting the field ready to play. They had two away games this week, and their first home game will be this coming Monday against Reynolds.
It's different outside of the gym. The ball comes from all over the place and comes at you very slow, he added.
The Lions have a pretty good-sized pitching staff, but Timmons said it will take awhile to sort out the rotations. The staff includes seniors Max Mood and Wyatt Mosely, junior Tyler Stangland, and sophomore Bryce Sanford. Noah Weitzel, a junior, may also see some time, as could Jake Shirley, a sophomore.
Bryce Winnier, a sophomore, has the nod at catcher, while another sophomore, Brody Takemoto will take over first. Wyatt Mosely will occupy second base. Tyler Stangland will be at short and third will be shared by Bryson Takemoto and senior Martin Scheer.
Outfielders include: Jake Ramiskey, a senior, but who hasn't played since he was a freshman; Brennan Norton, a junior; Adam Spencer, a freshman; and Weitzel.
Bryce Mulcahy, a sophomore, will take over utility infield, when others are pitching.
We have nothing but a very positive attitude, Timmons said. Everybody is just excited to be playing ball. We don't have a lot of varsity experience, but I foresee nothing but good things for this group.
Timmons said he meets with the team every day before practice. He said practices are more structured and he likes the way the team has responded.
The Lions don't have any lofty goals this year, but Timmons feels the squad has a shot at finishing in the top half of the Northwest Oregon Conference. The coach sees Sherwood, Wilsonville, and Liberty fighting it out for the first three spots.
The league schedule is also a little different this year. It's been divided into divisions for baseball. They will play teams on the west side of the Willamette River three times, and the teams on the east side Parkrose, Sandy, Milwaukie and Rex Putnamtwo times.
Prior to spring break (March 25) the Lions have an aggressive schedule against five 6A teamsBeaverton, Glencoe, Reynolds, Southridge and Gresham. The Reynolds and Gresham games are at home.
Timmons worked on the field over the weekend and felt it was ready to play if there is not too much rain this week. They host Reynolds on March 18.
St. Helens Baseball Schedule
(Home games in caps)
March 12 Beaverton
March 13 Glencoe
March 18 REYNOLDS
March 19 Southridge
March 20 GRESHAM
March 25 Amity (@Forest Grove)
March 26 Forest Grove
March 27 Centennial (@Forest Grove)
April 2 SANDY
April 3 Sandy
April 5 Parkrose
April 9 PARKROSE
April 10 REX PUTNAM
April 12 Rex Putnam
April 16 Sherwood
April 17 SHERWOOD
April 19 Sherwood
April 23 Wilsonville
April 24 WILSONVILLE
April 26 Wilsonville
April 30 LIBERTY
May 1 Liberty
May 3 LIBERTY
May 7 Milwaukie
May 10 MILWAUKIE