“We’re bringing a lot of hitting ability back,” Pella Christian Head Baseball Coach Jeff Bruxvoort said. The program boasts 40 players this season – including 13 sophomores and 11 juniors and seniors.
Practices have gone well thus far for the Eagles. Bruxvoort has felt very blessed to have the facilities, including indoor shelters, to be able to get the level of practices the team has been able.
With no middle school baseball this season, Bruxvoort has rolled the eighth-grade players into the ninth-grade team. The youngest Eagles have shown promise as well.
Bruxvoort and his team have split into two squads for practice, and he has been pleased with both.
Returning strong bats this season come with strong defenders, including Devin Haveman, Matthew Bokhoven and many others. This season, Jack VerMeer and David Willis chose to join the squad. They are among the nine seniors on the squad. The Eagles graduated only three seniors from last season.
The mix of the seniors with the mental and physical maturity, along with the newcomers, makes a good team for Bruxvoort. All of them have demonstrated a “hunger” to constantly improve and be in competition every time they take the field.
There will be a few players Bruxvoort knows can hit the long ball, including Will Dembski, who led Class 2A in home runs last year. The lineup, 1-9, can produce hits, Bruxvoort believes. Combine their ability to get on base, with their speed and penchant for stealing, the Eagles will be a threat.
The Little Hawkeye Conference will not crown a champion this season, as it is not long enough. The Eagles have 16 varsity games before districts, as well as 12 JV games and 12 freshmen games.
Pella Christian’s first four outings this season pit them against Oskaloosa, Pella, Norwalk and Woodward-Granger. They host a double header against Indianola on June 22.
“We’re excited to play,” Bruxvoort said. “If anything, we’re having a lot of fun, we’re getting better day after day.”
Bruxvoort and his team are appreciating every day they have together, practices and games, as it was not clear if they would get a season together this year. The season will not last long.
“Before you know it, the season will be over,” Bruxvoort said. “I hope the Good Lord blesses us with good weather.”
Be sure to follow the Eagles this season at www.marioncountytribune.com.