NEW MANCHESTER - Bub Haddox has had two exceptional year's on baseball fields around the Ohio Valley, hitting right around .500.
Still, it will be hard to top what he did last year in the Class AA, Region One semifinal, when he threw eight innings of one-run baseball and then, for good measure, hit the game-winning home run in the eighth inning.
Hard to duplicate, but Coach Matt Deveaney is going to give Haddox has already committed to West Liberty where he will continue his productive career, but first, there is a season to be played.
Haddox will play several infield positions when not on the mound and Kyle Woodruff, another returnee with tons of experience, will also be on the mound and play middle infield.
Sophomore Zac Porter showed promise a season ago and joins the rotation and Alex Shuman will come on in relief.
The Golden Bears must replace Trey Smith behind the plate after he caught nearly every inning of every varsity game last spring. Patrick Reardon, who caught nearly all the jayvee games last season, will be called upon to replace Smith.
Alec Swiger should man one of the three outfield slots.
Jacob Ford, Justin Bailey, Shane Logston, Porter and Tyler Click will also be key components on the diamond.
The team will venture to Myrtle Beach April 13-19 to play in a tournament, an opportunity Deveaney hopes will help the team bond and play in favorable weather,
"We have big expectations but we also have the talent to better what we did last year," Deveaney said. "We got off to a rather slow start but we still finished 16-10 and had a great late-season run.
"Our goal this year is to have a better start and see what happens in May. I think we have a good shot to win some games and have a chance to make it to Charleston (for the state baseball tournament)."