Spring brings many things – often-drizzly skies, longer days and, most important, high schoolers embarking on a new sports season. Here’s a look at a couple of Enumclaw High programs (the rest will be featured next week).
Coach Eric Fiedler has seen a lot of Hornet baseball during his 15 years at Enumclaw High and, as usual, he’s ready to roll into another spring season.
“We’re excited about the start of the season,” he said, rattling off a list of seven returning players boasting varsity playing time.
“We lost a great hitter, Travis Smith, to graduation last year but return a ton of experience,” Fiedler said.
Six of the Hornets’ seven returnees are seniors, giving this year’s squad a definite veteran presence. Those upperclassmen are catcher Tristen Nichols, outfielder Sam Laurnen and four players who will likely see time on the mound and in the infield: Colton Willson, Cameron Jarvis, Ethan Belchschmidt and Tyler Ediger. The lone junior returnee is infielder Cole Kaschmitter.
Fiedler’s fleet of newcomers is headed by senior outfielders Jackson McCann and Taylor McGee, junior outfielder Kaden Loop and sophomore infielder/pitcher Dylan Watts.
“Expect the Hornets to be aggressive on the basepaths and continue to play great defense behind solid pitching,” Fiedler summarized.
The Hornets will get their first test of the 2020 campaign this Saturday, March 14, when they travel to Auburn High for the Trojans’ season-opening jamboree.
There are many additions to the Enumclaw High program and that starts at the top. Longtime coach Mike Eckhart stepped down and has been replaced by Linda Hubber, who had served as an assistant and was promoted to the top job.
The roster will also be seeing some notable turnover, with many new faces competing for varsity spots.
But there are veterans as well. That includes starting pitcher Jenna Ritzdorf, returning for her junior season after receiving all-league honorable mention a year ago, and sophomore Taylor Ober, who garnered all-league honorable mention as an outfielder following her freshman season.
Hubber is impressed with the progress Ritzdorf has made during her three years in the program. “The growth that she has shown is game-changing,” the coach reported. “She has become more confident and stronger with each season.”
Brookelyn Jewett and Haley Chavis completed last season’s all-freshman outfield. Change could be in the air, however, as Hubber notes they could return to infield positions.
Hubber also is looking for contributions from returnees like Rosie Penke, Tayler Anderson and Summer Huston, along with newcomers Juliana Fahsholtz, Izzy Lingle and Jenna Fahsholtz.
“We are a young team, but smart,” Hubber said. “This will be a tough team. We are strong and solid.”
The Hornets are coming off a 2019 campaign that saw them to 8-9 during the regular season and win one of three league tournament games. The team advanced to district play and was ousted in the opener.