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Garden City baseball coach returns, all eyes on softball mound

March 12, 2008
  • Brad Powers releases the ball during practice. (photo By John Walter)
Brad Powers releases the ball during practice. (photo By John Walter)

By Kashly Schweer
Prep Editor, Garden City High School

Wilson returns to coach Garden City baseball

The Garden City baseball team is excited to welcome back its former head coach, Bill Wilson. He began his coaching career at Garden City in 1985 where he led his team to six regional championships during his reign. Wilson, who had been in Florida coaching, returned to the area as the Holcomb High School's head coach. However, this season, he will be back in the Garden City dugout.

Wilson has changed the battle plan from what previous coach Brad Bascue had enforced. He indicated that he will focus on base hits, speed and keeping his runners in constant motion.

"The transition between coaches has been pretty easy," Brad Hoggat, returning senior said. "The guys have adapted to Coach Wilson very well."

Starting at the pitching mound for the Garden City will be Nathan Brungart, with Hoggat behind the plate.

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"We are really young but we have lots enthusiasm," Hoggat said.

The Buffs, under the direction of Wilson, will start their season March 26 at Ulysses.

All eyes on Garden City softball pitching mound

Coming off the history-making year of 2007, the Garden City Lady Buffaloes softball team is looking to repeat and improve in 2008.

The Lady Buffs were the Western Athletic Conference champions for the first time in the program's 15 years. However, this year, the team has to start from scratch with a new varsity pitcher taking the mound, along with a new catcher behind the plate.

Sophomore Sara Blackburn will be the new kid on the field after playing behind All-WAC pitcher Katie Ford, last year.

"I just have to pick up my mental toughness, hit my spots, throw hard and accurate every pitch," Blackburn said.

Blackburn will serve as the heart of the Lady Buffs team.

"Fielders love to play behind her," Ford said.

Also new to the spotlight will be Blackburn's battery mate, Monique Lopez, who will be starting as catcher. The rookie catcher will be assisted by pitching coach Robert Padilla.

The team is looking to improve on its 12-9 record from the previous year.

"We do have great kids on this team and we're putting them on a super-accelerated curve," Ford said. "We just look to steadily improve as we go through the season."

Within WAC, the Lady Buffs predict they will meet their biggest competition when on the field with rival Great Bend. WAC rivals Hays and Dodge City will provide good competition, as well.

"We are looking to repeat our WAC title, go on to regionals and make a good showing at state," Ford said.

The Lady Buffs will kick off their season March 28 on their home diamond against Goodland.

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