Prep notes

ILLINOIS PREP NOTES: Marian baseball team headed west

2014-03-20T19:00:00Z 2014-03-27T00:26:05Z ILLINOIS PREP NOTES: Marian baseball team headed westMike Nieto mike.nieto@nwi.com, (219) 933-3232 nwitimes.com
March 20, 2014 7:00 pm  • 

Though Thursday was the first official day of spring, not many teams have been outside and with fields frozen, it may be some time before baseball and softball games can be played.

The Marian Catholic baseball team are headed to the land of the Cactus League. Marian's junior varsity and varsity teams  will play games in Arizona. This is the fourth year Marian has made a spring trip, and its second time to Arizona. The previous two seasons it went to Florida.

"It not only is good for team bonding, but the competition," Marian varsity coach Phil Wail said. "Every year we have either played a defending state champion or a team which won a state championship that year.

"So competition-wise, that is great for us. It does give us an idea of where we stand."

Two years ago, the Spartans won the Class 3A state title. He said the kids love it and and the competition.

"Those teams from Florida or Arizona have been practicing and playing since January," Wail said. "They are ahead of us, but if we can play well against them, that is a good thing for us.

"We also give all our players a chance to get in practice in nice weather."

Rebels head south: The T.F. South baseball team is headed to Jacksonville — Illinois, not Florida for two games today.

"It's been a tough winter," South baseball coach Matt Tiffy said. "We can finally get some games in one turf field and let the kids play baseball."

Like Wail, Tiffy wants his players to get in some playing time.

"We got a lot of kids we want to take a look at and this will give us that chance," Tiffy said. "It gives us an opportunity to see where we are."

Goodbye to seniors: Marian Catholic will graduate 10 seniors from its boys basketball team and coach Mike Taylor found it hard to say farewell after Tuesday's 65-60 overtime loss to Edwardsville in the Class 4A Illinois State Super-Sectional.

"They are a great group of guys who worked extremely hard," Taylor said. "They were a pleasure to coach."

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