The Sumner Spartans are looking to come out of the batting cage swinging and make their way to another Final Four state baseball appearance.
Returning to the team are seniors Gabe Smith and Tyson Rainwater, and juniors Ben Wilson, Jake Gehri and Kyle Van Hout.
Wilson was 1st Team SPSL 3A outfielder last year, as well as the Tacoma News Tribune 2nd team all area.
Gehri was named 1st team SPSL 3A catcher, and has received multiple Division 1 offers in baseball, according to Coach Casey Adcox.
Smith was 2nd team SPSL 3A pitcher last year, and helped the team win their state quarterfinal game against Columbia River to get the team to the Final Four. Smith is committed to playing at Everett Community College.
Rainwater was 2nd team SPSL 3A outfielder last year, and is committed to playing football at Central Washington University when he graduates.
New to the varsity team is senior Tanner George, juniors Alex Fraser, Nate Baespflug, Connor Filleau, Cody Chavis, Jordan Johnston and Cameron Waterman and sophomores Colin Hoover and Grant Sherrod.
“We did lose many seniors, so there are new faces, but some of our best players from last season are returning,” Adcox said. “We have a good team bond. We’ve set covenants, expectations. We have a very strong, athletic group.”
Adcox added that the team return to state will be a hard road, since the team is now in SPSL 4A South, “which on paper has many programs that have long standing baseball tradition,” he said. “The league is very strong.”
That being said, the Spartans have traveled to state six times in the last seven seasons.
“We’ve had a lot of success in recent years,” said Adcox. “Our kids expect to do well.”
The Sumner fastpitch team will open a new season next week, if the weather decides to move from snow, sleet and rain to at least a little sun.
The Spartans are building a solid program and losing only four seniors to graduation, Sumner is on the cusp of a breakout season.
Returning to the pitching rubber is Emma Froembling who is an all around athlete listed as playing in center field and second base.
Emelia Strong returns to the shortstop position. She made the team as a freshman and this year is listed to play both second and shortstop.
Junior Molly Gocken is also listed to play shortstop, second and outfield.
Abi Proffitt is a junior who play at the corner and in the outfield.
Sophomore Taylor Simpson is an all-around athlete who plays in the outfield.
Junior Kate Harris is a pitcher for the Spartans and will play first or in the outfield when not standing on the rubber.
Jaden Kent, also a junior, will be an all-around player principally listed as playing in the outfield.
The Spartans are competing in the 4A South Puget Sound League this season.
Sumner opens the season at 4 p.m. at home Monday against Spanaway Lake.