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Red Devils prepare for season with returning talent

Vina Coach Donovan Hand said he is looking forward to the 2021 baseball season to see what his team brings to the diamond.

“We are super excited about being able to play this year,” said Hand. “Adversity always makes you better. Last season was tough just because of the seniors; we just didn’t get to send them off in the right way.

“Also, when a team misses 20-plus games it hurts with development,” Hand added, “but everybody is in the same boat, and we are looking forward to the 2021 season and opportunities it brings.”

Hand has some experience returning he can rely on. Haze Weatherford and Zac Davidson are two seniors with experience on the diamond. Weatherford will pitch and be a utility player, while Davidson will pitch and occupy the right side of the infield at either first or second base.

“Haze is our most experienced baseball guy,” Hand explained. “He is very athletic and can play all over the diamond. Zac is an emotional leader that can contribute in many ways.”

Underclassmen with baseball experience are junior Trenton Alack, sophomore Wyatt Kennedy and ninth-grader Grayson Ridge.

Alack will pitch and play first base. Kennedy will play third base and shortstop. Ridge will pitch and play centerfield or shortstop.

“Trenton is probably our most consistent arm on the mound and will hit in the middle of the lineup,” said Hand. “Wyatt is a tall kid that will be able to contribute. He has shown great improvement. Grayson is a young kid but has played a lot of baseball.”

While Hand said he is not sure what his team is going to look like this early in the season, he is confident they will improve and compete.

“Coach Kelby, Coach Mak and myself believe we have a chance to be pretty good. The main thing is that the kids continue to develop as the season goes on,” he said. “By the time the playoffs roll around, hopefully we will be playing our best baseball.”