WAYNE – As NSAA sanctioned high school fall sports begin practice this week, the Wayne High softball team will open their 2017 schedule next week.
In 2016, Wayne went 27-4 during their regular season. WHS won 22 of their final 23 games and were crowned District B-3 Tournament Champs. Wayne then suffered back-to-back losses in the State Tournament to Hastings (9-1) and North Platte (13-9).
Last year’s state tournament appearance marked the 10th straight appearance and 14th overall in the team’s soon to be 16-year program.
Rob Sweetland has been the head coach since the team’s inception in 2002. Coach Sweetland talks about the team’s depth.
“We have 12 players so got to stay healthy,” said Sweetland. “So, we got to be a little aware of that as we’re going through the season. A lot of games in a short amount of time, we got to make sure we take care of everybody on the team.”
The team will have 12 players broken down into three seniors, six juniors, two sophomores and one freshman.
Wayne graduated five seniors who all played defense and four of them batted. WHS will return half their team with varsity experience.
The three Wayne High seniors are Jenna Trenhaile who plays shortstop and outfield, Jamie Gamble who plays first base and will do some pitching as well as Kennedy Maly who plays left and center field.
Each player talked about preparation for the season.
(team has been working on) “We’ve been working a on a lot of basic stuff to get back in the rhythm of playing because we’ve had a little break since summer ball,” Trenhaile added.
(team has been working on/what else working on) “A lot of like situation drills and a lot of fundamentals trying to get back into the swing of things,” Gamble mentioned. “Then we have to work on the more advanced drills like throwing, trying to hit our cuts and stuff like that.”
(numbers) “A lot of new positions like Jenna was in the outfield and now she’s in the infield,” said Maly. “Then there is new people everywhere pretty much.”
Rich Rethwisch, Kevin Hill and Caitlin Fehringer will all be helping out coach Sweetland.
Wayne High will open their 2017 campaign on Thursday, August 17 at 6 p.m. in a visit to Blair. The home opener will be a tournament featuring Centura/Central Valley, Clarkson-Leigh, Douglas County West, Ord, Pierce, Ponca and Twin River all in Wayne on Saturday, August 19.