As we leave the winter weather behind us and enter spring, the Sumner Spartans baseball team takes the field for the new season.
Casey Adcox returns as head coach for his ninth season at Sumner. Adcox has been coaching baseball now for 17 seasons.
The Spartans finished last season second in the Sough Puget Sound League 3A and had an 18-7 overall record.
This season, Adcox said, the team is made up of a large senior class with a number of position players returning.
He added, the Spartans will however have “less experience returning on the mound.”
Four key players Sumner will play without this season, Adcox said, are Johnny Staley, Gage Whitehead, Chase Torgison and Joey Muscarnera.
He continued, four players to keep an eye on this season are Nathan Harrell, Josiah Fidecaro, Noah Massey and Tristan Wilhite.
Harrell is a senior and plays third base for the Spartans. Adcox said it is his fourth year as a varsity starter and he was selected all-league for the past three seasons as first baseman.
Adcox added, Harrell will be playing at Yakima Valley Community College next season.
Fidecaro is a senior who plays both shortstop and outfield. For the past two seasons he was named to the SPSL 3A first team. This season, Adcox said, Fidecaro will be mostly playing shortstop.
He has committed to play at Everett Community College next season.
Massey is another senior who plays both second base and shortstop. This will be his third year on varsity. Adcox said he “will hit at the top of the lineup.”
And Wilhite is a senior outfielder for Sumner. He is a returning starter from last season and Adcox said he was a “big contributor” during the 2015 season.
And two other returning starters Adcox mentioned senior Hogan Leffel and sophomore Jake Gehri.
“(This is an) exciting group of players to coach,” Adcox added. “This senior class is very tight knit and cares a lot about each other and wearing the Sumner jersey.”
The Spartans throw out the first pitch Friday, March 11 when Sumner travels to Fife to face the Trojans. The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start time.
The Spartans return to the mound under the direction of coach Megan Gaines.
She is beginning her third season coaching the Spartans and is predicting “a great season.”
Last year, Gaines said, the team “won about 50 percent of their games with an incredibly young team.”
This year, the Spartans return with a majority of the same players from last season after not losing any seniors.
Gaines said she has had time to settle into her role as head coach and the players have had a year to mature.
Sumner will add freshman Emelia Strong who plays infield. And four returners Gaines mentioned are McKenna Eidal, Chloe Oyadomari, Hannah Wilson and Madelyn Laskowski.
“(They are) our seniors looking to finish out their careers strong,” Gaines said.
Eidal and Kate Harris are returning to the mound for the Spartans with Oyadomari behind the plate. Abi Proffitt, Molly Gocken and Wilson will provide offensive support for Sumner, Gaines added.
The outfield will covered by Emma Froembling, Sydney Green and Jaden Kent.
The Spartans’ season begins Thursday, March 17, with an away game against the Puyallup Vikings. The first pitch is set for 4 p.m.