Tonawanda News

High Schools

April 16, 2014

Tonawanda loses key players but not title hope

Tonawanda News — There is no talk of retooling. Just returning to the Class B title game.

As the Tonawanda Warriors baseball team heads into the 2014 season, they know they will be without some of the key components that have been its foundation in recent seasons. But as coach John Frank said, the graduation of starters is something all teams deal with. And the true test of a program is how they move forward.

“When given the opportunity, players have to take advantage of it,” said coach Frank. “I tell them when you get a chance to get in the game, give me a reason not to take you out. The opportunity is there for several players this year. We do have a strong core coming back from last year and our goal is to maintain that high level of success that we've had the past several years.”

Winning the Section VI Class B-1 title last season, the Warriors playoff chase ended on a tough note when they lost the Class B title game to eventual state champion Fredonia. Seeing Fredonia go on to win states, after losing to them by one run, was a tough pill to swallow for the Warriors. But Frank said he and his team have put that behind them and are focused on 2014.

“I think it was a good experience for all those last year that are still on the team,” he said. “But yeah, it was last year and you have to move on. It was unfortunate, we did have our chances in that game to win it, and we just came up short.”

Leading the way for the Warriors will be seniors Ben Stich (SS/P), Tim Barnard (OF), junior Cody McGregor (P/2B/SS) and sophomore Bret Kelly, who now takes over for Steven Warthling behind the plate as the Warriors' starting catcher.

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