GLEN DALE - Baseball and winning go hand-in-hand at John Marshall High School.
Coach Bob Montgomery said he hopes that tradition continues, not just for the sake of wins and losses for him and his team, but for the school and community.
"Lately, we've taken a little bit of a hit in terms of athletics at John Marshall," Montgomery said. "There are some who think maybe we're not as successful as we should be. We've been up against it a little bit here recently."
Montgomery takes that outlook as a challenge as he enters his 46th season as skipper for the Monarchs. He said he and his team have taken a newfound school motto - "roll pride" - to heart and will put forth an effort that makes the entire John Marshall community proud.
"That is our No. 1 goal," he said. "The community we live in is very supportive, and our guys want to get out there and represent the school and community in good fashion."
Montgomery also hopes that attitude will translate into victories along the way. He said his team has the ingredients to be successful, with the ultimate goal of a state championship serving as motivation.
"We like to think of Charleston as the end of the road, and if we're successful enough, maybe we get there," he said.
The ingredients Montgomery speaks of include eight returning lettermen. While he said final spots weren't yet ironed out, he said seniors contributing include Schuyler Callihan (first and third base); Tanner Filben (third and second base); Cody Frazier (center field); Cory Schubert (left field and third base); Jerreck Waldrum (shortstop and second base); Mett Zelic (right field); and Cambridge-transfer Trevor Hardesty (left field and third base).
Juniors tapped to contribute on the varsity level include Ronnie Allen (third base); Bailey Black (second base); Quentin Blatt (catcher and outfielder); Jarrett Ennis (first base and outfield); Thad Herback (third and first base); Jared Horan (center field); Cullin Neely (first and third base); Hunter Sodoski (second base and shortstop); Nick Snyder (shortstop and second base); Donovan Whipkey (first base and outfield); Alex Whorton (catcher and outfielder); and Patrick Yocum (second base).
Montgomery will use a rotation of 12 pitchers, with left-handers Ennis, Neely and Whipkey joining right-handers Sodoski, Snyder, Whorton, Callihan, Filben, Hardesty, Waldrum, Zelic and Allen on the mound
Montgomery is joined in the dugout by assistant coaches Roger Simmons, Mark Cisar, Dave Coffield and Sabrina Montgomery. Junior varsity coaches are Joe Sturgill, Shawn Mayl, Ryan Zelinski and LJ Winland.