New coach ready to lead Patriots baseball

GOODMAN, Wis. – Goodman-Pembine baseball and new coach Evan Neuens just might be able to make their season debut Friday at Laona-Wabeno.

If not, there’s always Monday at Niagara.

“Time will tell,” Neuens said of the Patriots’ weather-ravaged schedule. “I am really looking forward to this season and eventually playing a few games once the snow melts.

“We have a pretty young team, but are lucky to have several starters coming back for us.”

Goodman-Pembine returns six starters among eight letterwinners from 2012. Three-year letterwinners Roman Grebin and Craig Kowalkowski join Trent Heath, Jacob Garrelts, Randall Bose and Michael Bruce in the starting ranks. Cody Metras and Jevan Lucena also played last season.

“Trent Heath and Roman Grebin both pitched some quality innings for us last year and look to throw the majority of our innings this year,” said Neuens, who assisted former coach Kris Johnson for the past two seasons. “Randall Bose and Michael Bruce both started for us last year as freshmen and will play an integral role for us as sophomores this year.”

Graduation cost the Patriots two “two strong pitchers in Dillon Church and Austin Lorenz as well as taking their bats out of the lineup,” Neuens said. “Our other key loss, Brody Millan, will be missed as a solid outfielder and steady bat at the plate.”

Pete Wehry, who guided Northland International University to the NCCAA national basketball tournament, will serve as volunteer assistant.

“We are incredibly happy to have Coach Wehry helping us out this spring,” Neuens said. “He comes with a great deal of coaching experience”

Neuens projects Crandon, Florence and Laona-Wabeno as Northern Lakes Conference challengers. Former Patriot Tyler Lorenz is coaching the Rebels from Laona-Wabeno.

“Looking at the conference, I feel as though Crandon will have a lot of returning talent and Florence seems to always put a fundamentally solid team on the field,” Neuens said. “Over in Laona-Wabeno, they have a lot of returning upperclassmen.

“Making any predictions is tough and each game is twice as important this year with the shortened conference season. With so many games piling up in the next month, we will have to take it a game at a time to make a run at conference and keep our arms healthy and ready down the stretch.”

Roster follows (* indicates letterwinner):

FRESHMAN – Drew Wehry.

SOPHOMORE – Tyler Kalkofen, TJ Hilkert, Michael Bruce (*), Randall Bose (*).

JUNIOR – Eddie Danoff, Tyler Buchner, Jevan Lucena (*), Jacob Garrelts (*), Trent Heath (*).

SENIOR – Shaun Seeley, Cody Metras (*), Roman Grebin (*), Craig Kowalkowski (*).