KIDWELL - With its third head coach in two seasons, a youthful squad that includes 10 freshmen and a drop to the Class A ranks in West Virginia, Tyler Consolidated is looking to start fresh with its 2013 baseball team.
First-time head coach Rob Jones inherits a team that finished 7-16 a year ago, and along with the 10 freshmen will consist of just two seniors and five juniors and sophomores, respectively.
''There are 22 kids out for the team, which is an improvement in numbers over recent years,'' Jones said. ''And we also have a little bit of experience and some real good athletes to go with it.''
Senior Koty Martin is one of the seniors, and the only player with two letters, and will be counted on to help guide the younger kids. Martin will be the center fielder and will also do his part with plenty of time on the mound. The other senior is Levi Henderson, who will see playing time both at first base and in left field.
There are a trio of lettermen back in juniors Isaac Michael and Evan Davis, along with sophomore David Litten. Michael will be used in the outfield and at second base while Davis can play just about anywhere in the infield and will also pitch. Litten, meanwhile, is a candidate for one of the three starting outfield spots.
The remaining juniors are Nathan Heintzman, who will pitch, catch and play center; Austin Brown who will be utilized in the outfield and Troy Watson who along with playing the outfield will spend a good amount of time at designated hitter.
Sophomores Jacob Stackpole, Tyler Knox, Travis Baker and Joe Greathouse can all play the outfield with Stackpole also at DH and first base, Knox at third and pitcher and Baker at first base.
However, for the Silver Knights to be successful they are going to need some production from the new kids, the 10 freshmen who could all see some playing time. And while there are outfielders among the younger players, there may also be plenty of infield help, with five available and two more possibly seeing action behind the dish.
Included in that freshman class are Colby Lash (2B, OF), Austin Thompson (1B, 3B), Kole Starkey (1B, OF), Jordan Baker (SS, 3B, P), Dillon Glover (3B, OF), Ty Pratt (OF), Marcus Nichols (OF), Justin Williams (C, OF), Jarrett Thompson (C, OF) and Diego Florez (OF).
''Our main focus right now is working hard in practice and getting better so we can go out and represent Tyler Consolidated High School as best we can,'' Jones added. ''One of our biggest goals is to continue to improve during the season and be playing well enough at the end of the regular season to hopefully win a sectional title.
''We are a young team, but I think we are also a team that could be talented enough to make some noise in the end.''