April 8, 2007
Baseball is back
in the Northland
By Matt Suoja
With the recent snowfall, outdoor high school
baseball could have been delayed.
However, even with the snow, all of the local
teams found a way to gear up for the upcoming season.
Whether it is taking ground balls in a gymnasium,
running in the halls of their perspective school or taking fly balls
in a parking lot, it’s clear that baseball season is back
in the Northland.
In his second year as head coach of the Denfeld
Hunters baseball team, coach Dan DuPay sees cohesiveness as one
of the team's main strengths.
“Team unity will be a strength again this
season,” DuPay said.
That unity will be formed through many returning
Senior outfielders Derek Anderson and Jimmy Scofield,
who will also play catcher, are among those coming back.
Senior pitchers Ian Jensen and Mike Lewis are
retuning. They also play infield and catcher, respectively.
Other returning senior infielders include Mike
Umbarger, Aaron Hoag and Anthony Bautista.
“We have a great core of players returning,”
said DuPay, who has coached sports such as football, hockey and
tennis over the past 17 years.
Last years team finished with a 4-16 record with
a first round playoff loss to Grand Rapids. The team plays in the
Lake Superior Conference.
Even though the team had a 4-16 record last season,
that did not deter Denfeld students from participating in baseball.
“Our program is on the rise as our preseason
numbers saw 55 kids sign up to play,” said DuPay. “I
try not to cut players so the junior varsity teams will have great
numbers to work with.”
Leading the way in the dugout, along with DuPay,
will be second year coach Frank Jerks, who will assist at the varsity
"We again will coach fundamentals and mental
discipline to limit our mistakes on the field," said DuPay.
"We always want to improve our hitting. (You've got to put
the ball in play to win games."
The team did lose one coach from last season,
Louis St. George. He was with the team for seven years.
"He will be greatly missed," DuPay said.
The Hunters will be playing in the Lake Superior
Conference in Section 7AAA. Some of their conference opponenets
will include Hermantown, Duluth Marshall, Cloquet and Proctor.