Three of the nine teams across the South Central League landscape will have new managers this summer.
That marks one of the top storylines heading into the 2019 amateur baseball season, which begins next Thursday for the SCL.
Crofton (Ben/Nick Hegge), Scotland (Dalton Mogck) and Tabor (Chris Sutera) will have new leaders in the dugout, while returning champion Yankton — the lone Class A team in the league — and District 6B Tournament champion Menno both bring many of the same faces from a year ago.
The District 6B Tournament will be played July 25-Aug. 3 in Wynot, Nebraska. The South Dakota State Tournament returns to Mitchell’s Cadwell Park, from Aug. 7-18.
Here is a look at each team in the SCL, beginning with Yankton and then in alphabetical order.
Nik Davis took the reins last year as player/manager and his Tappers went on to win the South Central League title with a 13-3 record and then reached the second weekend of the South Dakota State Class A Tournament.
Most of those same players are back this summer for another title chase: Josh Teichroew, Ross Heine, Kory Bromley, Alex Mueller, Gabe Leon, Mason Townsend, Mack Hollingsworth, Mitch Gullikson, Devin Gullikson, Michael Heine, Luke Bauski, Derrik Nelson and Davis.
The Tappers will also look to newcomers Beau Lofink, Cameron Guevara and Nate Hein for production.
This one’s for Kyle.
That will be the rallying cry for the Bluejays this summer following the loss of long-time player Kyle Mueller in a January traffic accident.
Crofton will hand the managerial reins over to brothers Nick and Ben Hegge this summer, and they will inherit a roster that features many familiar names: Capp Bengston, Scot Donner, Austin Hegge, Gaige Hegge, James Kaiser, Chris Kleinschmit, Zack Knapp, Tyler Koch, Lathan Maibaum, Andrew Schieffer, Colton Schieffer, Jared Wiebelhaus and Tyler Zimmerman.
Joining the roster this season will be Alec Martin, Danny Melena and Corey Roach.
Freeman Black Sox
The same nucleus of veterans — including two former players back in the fold — will look to guide Freeman back to the state tournament after a year away in 2018.
Freeman, managed once again by Jake Weier, returns Nate Broehm, Preston Gall, Kevin Kunz, Phil Madsen, Jared McVay, Brett Scherschligt, Allan Scherschligt and Mitchell Wollmann to a team that went 4-12 in the South Central League last summer.
Joe Weier and Lee Scherschligt have also re-joined the roster.
Although it looked like the Cardinals might start the season short of additional players, they have bolstered the roster in the hopes of making a run at a state tournament berth.
Many of the same names as a year ago return for Irene, which was 6-10 in the South Central League a year ago: Jamison Kleinsasser, Bryant Knodel, Marcus Van Driel, Josh Healy, Brett Olson, Cal Lucas, Tate Gale, Adam Gale, Matt Sees, Simon Healy, Sawyer Hansen and Johnke.
The group of newcomers includes: Jacob Rausch, Tucker Berg, Matt Munkvold, Tom Berg, Zach Berg and Brandin Jensen.
Last year, Lesterville was the lone South Central League team to win a game at the South Dakota State Tournament, and now the Broncs will return essentially the same roster for this summer.
Managed again by Kevin Bloch, Lesterville will feature Tyler Edler, Alex Wagner, Brandon Nickolite, Ian Powell, Dave Schmidt, Cameron Schiltz, Micah Bartlett, Tyler Guthmiller, Tanner Skorepa, Tanner Van Driel, Shaye Bloch and Tim Sternhagen.
Menno Mad Frogs
The reigning District 6B Tournament champions return most of the names that helped the Mad Frogs reach the state tournament a year ago.
Menno — guided by player/manager Ryan Liebl — returns last year’s District 6B Most Valuable Player Macon Oplinger, along with Tom Sattler, Doug Hall, Tyler Miller, Tate Bruckner, Cody Ulmer, Caleb Preszler, Dylan Lehr, Dustin Lehr, Derrick Lehr, Cody Herrboldt, Parker Schultz, Spencer Schultz, Jacob Hertz, Trey Bohlmann, Kyler Pekarek, Adam Walter and Zach Scott.
A group of new faces (along with a new manager) will look to turn the tides in Scotland this summer.
Dalton Mogck takes over the managerial reins for the Highlanders, who will feature Matt Schempp, Corey Gall, Scott Ulmer, Jeff Honner, Luke Winckler, James Hlavac, Hunter Martin, Tristan Sedlacek, Ezra Bartlett, Alex Caba, Brandon Abbink, Chandler Diede, Jacob Vitek, Blake Konstanz, Dexter Grosz, Dallas Fuerst, Tate Reiner, Chase Mogck, Ty Mogck, Brendan Bares, Sawyer Schmitz and Ryan Robb.
A long-time member of the Bluebirds flock will take over as player/manager this summer, as Chris Sutera takes the reins for a young squad that is looking to return to the state tournament.
Sutera will be joined by Tanner Van Winkle, Zach Sutera, Chad Hovorka, Dean Kaul, Cole Uecker, Chase Kortan, Dommonick Pechous, Hunter Hallock, Colin Muth, Bryce Scieszinski and Sam Caba.
Tabor has also added Austin Wise and Cameron Guevara to the roster.
After finishing third in the South Central League and earning a trip to the South Dakota state tournament a year ago, the Expos bring back many of the same faces this season.
Back for Wynot are player/manager Lee Heimes, David Schenk, Brett Wiebelhaus, Jackson Sudbeck, Don Whitmire, Austin Lange, Dawson Sudbeck, Chase Rolfes, Ryan Heimes, Jalen Wieseler, Kyle Wiepen, Devon Lammers, Ryan Eskens, Clif Kephart, Scott Morrison, Steve Heimes, Scott Heimes and Lance Heine.
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