It’s the second week of preseason practices for the PIAA spring sports season and all of the baseball, softball, and track and field teams at Brookville and Clarion-Limestone are preparing for the upcoming season that’s not too far away.
Weather-permitting, of course.
Here’s a quick preseason look at each team:
It’ll be hard to match last year’s memorable postseason run for the Raiders, who reached the Class 2A state semifinals after winning their first district title since 2012.
The Raiders, who finished 14-12, after losing to Bishop McCort in the final four. Head coach Bruce Ferry, in his third season of his second stint, has 24 players on his preseason roster.
Sophomore Aaron Park (.413 batting average, 8-3, 1.53 ERA pitching) was last year’s D9Sports.Com Rookie of the Year. Other key players back are junior Tanner LaBenne (.380) and sophomore Seth Dunkle (.346)
The Raiders are scheduled to open the season at Butler’s Kelly Automotive Park next Friday against Karns City. Another game is scheduled for March 26 at Johnsonburg before a March 28 home-opener against Bradford.
The Lady Raiders have 12 players on their preseason roster for head coach Carl McManigle, in his second year of his second stint.
Brookville had a turnaround season of sorts last year, finishing 8-12.
McManigle has his daughter in junior pitcher Carlie McManigle (8-8 record pitching, 2.44 ERA) back as well as other key returners in sophomores Marcy Schindler (.293) and Leah Kammerdeiner (.254).
The Lady Raiders are set to start the year at home against Bradford March 28.
Track and Field
Both teams have a combined roster of over 80 athletes in the preaseason, which comes to a close fairly soon with their first meet at home March 26 against Clarion.
The defending D9 Class 2A champion Raiders, under head coach Dan Murdock, return two individual state qualifiers in juniors Bryan Dworek and De-Angelo Coffey, who both competed in the long jump at Shippensburg. The Raiders also had two relays — the 4x400 and 4x100 — qualify for states and runners back from those teams include seniors John Frank and Brandon McGranor, juniors Dillon Olson and Addison Singleton, and sophomore Ian Thrush.
The Lady Raiders, coached by Doug Roseman, are the defending D9 Class 2A champion. The lone state qualifier back from the individual events is sophomore Madison Johnson in the long jump. Girls back from the state-qualifying 4x100 and 4x400 relay include sophomore Morgan Johnson, and juniors Dani MacBeth and Jillian Taylor.
Todd Smith replaces the first and only other coach Brad Frazier as the head coach of the Lions, who finished 7-9 after a first-round playoff loss to North Clarion.
Smith has 15 players on his preseason roster with just two seniors in his son Christian and Ian Hawthorn.
The Lions are scheduled to start the season at home against Clarion March 27.
Rob Schimp is the new coach for the Lady Lions this year. They’re coming off an 0-15 season.
The Lady Lions have two scrimmages on the schedule March 20 at Rocky Grove and March 21 at home against Clarion before starting the regular season at Clarion March 27.
Track and Field
Jenn Coast and Alan Cumo are the girls’ and boys’ coaches for this years squads.
Both teams open the season April 4 at home against A-C Valley.