New Satellites coach thinking big
South Central has never been afraid to play the big schools, having scheduled the likes of Portage, Valparaiso and Michigan City for many years, and new Satellites coach Ryan Kruszka embraces that challenge.
"Those are good games for us," Kruszka said. "We want to play those kind of teams."
Kruszka, who played at Butler, was previously the pitching coach at perennial powerhouse Brownsburg, and he's working on a four-team round-robin tournament with the Bulldogs and Warren Central.
Valpo wears the bull's eye
Don't get him wrong. Valparaiso coach Dave Coyle is glad to have several starters back from the team that won the Class 4A Merrillville Sectional last year, but he doesn't see an advantage to being the defending champion.
"The big difference this year," Coyle said, "is everybody wants a piece of you."
The Vikings will have to make due the first five games without Devin Bafia. The winner of all three sectional games last season, the Evansville recruit is suspended for that period due to an athletics code of conduct violation.
Weisner excited about Westvlle
New Westville coach Randy Weisner is excited to have his first head coaching opportunity. Previously the assistant coach, Weisner also coached in the LaPorte Babe Ruth ranks years back.
"I love the kids. I love the school," Weisner said. "It's a great opportunity. I couldn't be happier. Everything's pretty well-situated. I'm just fine-tuning it to fit my style. We're excited to see how far we can really go. We want to be the first ones to (win a sectional)."
Prairie now one of the 'little guys'
After playing and coaching at Kankakee Valley, Zach Prairie is finding out what it's like to be the little guy, coaching at LaCrosse.
"I'm used to being the big dogs of the conference," Prairie said. "The exciting part of the season will be to see how they progress. The more game situations they can be in, hopefully they'll learn. The kids are coachable. They work their butts off every day. That hasn't been an issue. That's always a coach's dream."
Boone looks to be a finisher
Boone's modest 14-12 record last season was a by-product of numerous late-inning fades by the Wolves.
"We had Portage down. We had Crown Point down. There were good teams we had beat," coach Rollie Thill said. "They should've learned from all that. If we can finish games, we can be pretty good. We should be back pushing 20 wins again."
Shinn, Marquette settle into place
Joe Shinn took over as Marquette coach last season amidst a messy situation which saw prior coach Joe Bobillo removed after an arrest. With that behind them and most of the team still intact, Shinn believes smoother sailing is ahead for the Blazers.
"I think they've matured. They're all stronger," Shinn said. "People who know baseball around Michigan City have said we should do well, that we should surprise some people. It's hard for me to judge. They're good athletes. There's a lot of them who played soccer, basketball, tennis. They're familiar with competition, which is important."