Young Brookfield East Spartans to have on-the-job training
Wycklendt takes over as baseball coach
New Brookfield East baseball coach Nicholas Wycklendt will see plenty of competition for jobs as the season approaches since he has only four returning letter winners.
Three seniors return in Brad Carstens, Dustin Brah and Ben Stewart, and Alex McGuire is the only junior.
"After losing majority of the playing time from a year ago, there are many players competing for starting positions," Wycklendt said. "This will be a very competitive week in practice as we figure out our best lineup for the season."
The Spartans have 11 newcomers on the team, including five sophomores who need to develop. Some of the promising new faces include juniors Daniel Magyar and Adam Wessel and sophomores T.C. Swittel, Zach Breider and Quinn Hyndiuk.
The positions battle breakdown follows.
Catcher: Magyar is starting, and junior Joe Morris gives East some depth.
Wycklendt: "We will look to Magyar to take control behind the plate and also to get on base as a hitter."
First base: Hyndiuk will start, and junior Noah Streich will also chip in.
Wycklendt: "Quinn is a talented sophomore who has very good skill for his age. Noah has shown solid bat control during the first couple days of practice."
Second base: Swittel will start, while sophomores Nick Davies and Jake Smith will backup.
Wycklendt: "Athletically, T.C. is one of the more talented players on the team. He will be counted on to step up and secure a middle infield position and be a solid hitter for this group. Davies is smooth in the field. Smith will be counted on more as a pitcher.
Shortstop: Wessel is starting — he is strong defensively. Swittel may also play shortstop some games.
Third base: Brah will start; juniors Jake Pagel and Brandon Werry are also on hand.
Wycklendt: "Dustin has a very good bat and will be counted on to hit in the middle of the order. Pagel is a strong defensive player and shows a good understanding of the game. Werry has been showing a lot of power during the first week."
Left field: Breider will start. Junior Andrew Holmes is also on hand.
Wycklendt: "Breider has shown he can cover some ground in the outfield but also has shown that he can hit very well. He has solid power for a sophomore. Holmes has also showed that he has good line drive power."
Center field: McGuire is starting.
Wycklendt: "He covers a lot of ground in center field. He will be counted on to drive in runs for the team and has shown the ability to hit for power."
Right field: Carstens will be East's number one pitcher and also plays great defense and has great bat control. He is a very good singles/doubles hitter. Werry and Brah will also play.
Utility: Stewart can play various positions throughout the season
Pitching staff: Carstens and Brah (senior), another returning player, will also be counted on to lead an inexperienced staff. Wessel and Quinn Hyndiuk will also pitch. Sophomore Jake Smith should close, and Davies and McGuire will also be available.
"We will need to grow together and develop as the season progresses," Wycklendt said. "I told my team, it is not how we start the season, it is how we finish. If we can improve and play baseball together as a team, where each person assumes their role and does it to the best of their ability, I feel we can be very competitive."
It will be important for the Spartans to focus on what they can control.
"The biggest hurdle for a team is to not worry about who we are playing in the other dugout but rather how we are playing," he said. "We can only control what we do as a team and we need to focus on that."
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