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summer sports preview ." ' Page 6 June 3, 2015 i Tigers want to continue to improve with new coach By Nathan Broek Sports Editor nbroek@ncppub.com HULL-After a 2014 sea- son that saw a young team only get one win on the season, the Trinity Chris- tian baseball team is look- ing for their new coach to help provide a spark and continue to grow the pro- gram. Coach Mike DeJager is entering his first season as the varsity baseball coach, but knows the team well as he moved up from being the junior varsity coach in previous seasons. "I have no experience being a varsity coach at any level, but I did play in college and was formerly the JV coach,' DeJager said. "Coach (Kevin) Van Engen (who is also the ath- letic director) pushed me to do it, saying they want- ed a coach that knew the game and could help build the program. I am a busy man with my everyday job and my family, but I love the game and I eventually accepted the job:' DeJager added that his goal is to share knowledge that goes beyond the game. "Baseball is a game of failures and there is no oth- er game with the amount of failure like baseball with swings and misses, walks, you name it. We may not win every game, but my goal is to teach the kids life lessons that apply to baseball:' The Tigers still have a relatively young team, but also have plenty of expe- rience to lean on. Senior Blake Meyer is in his fifth season in the program af- ter coming in as an eighth- The 2015 Trinity Christian baseball team. Front from left: Daniel Kooiker, Ethan Heynen, Ethan Van Bemmel, Caleb Meyer, Caden Vis. Middle: Logan Cleveringa, Andrew De Boer, Braden Kuiper, Byron Maassen. Back: Dillon Brummel, Phil Boonstra, Collin Heynen, Mark Maassen and Blake Meyer. Photo/Nathan Broek. grader and DeJager said he will be the leadoff hit- ter and handle most of the pitching duties this season after 37 innings of work and 22 strikeouts last sea- son. "We will also look for him to be our vocal leader because of all his experi- ence. It feels like he has been in the program for- ever" DeJager said. One new face that will see plenty of playing time on the infield will be fresh- man Mark Maasen. DeJag- er said there will be grow- ing pains, but expects big things down the road. "He did play some as an eighth grader last year, but he is still young and go- ing up against junior and senior pitching will not be easy" he said. "He will struggle at times because of that, but we hope he can battle through it, not get discouraged and con- tinue to improve for us:' DeJager picked Rem- sen St. Mary's and LeMars Gehlen Catholic to battle for the top of the confer- ence once again. As far as expectations for his team, DeJager hasn't had a chance to evaluate all his players due to other com- mitments, but wants his team to be competitive night in and night out. "1 don't really know what to expect from my team within the first few weeks to be honest with you, be- cause we have had kids gone for eighth-grade soccer, golf and track. We recently had our first practice and I told the guys that the door is wide open for spots and that they will need to step up if they want it" DeJager said. "We do have some solid pitchers with experience in Blake Meyer and Colin Heynen (18 and one-thirds innings last season). We will look for them to be our horses on the mound this season. We also want to eliminate strikeouts and put the ball in play to make the defense work, but our main goal is to continue to improve each day and be competitive. I know that's clich6, but with the roster I have I really don't know what to expect:' Offense t'le focus fi:,r young Tirinity Christian softt:all team By Jacob Tilstra I Writer With the return of seven letter winners, a young Trin- ity Christian softball team is poised to get better after last season's 3-21 record. Kassandra Heynen, returning for her fifth season as Trin- ity's head coach, sees a lot of potential inside the coming year's team and hopes to see improvement. "We would like to set our expectations high, but yet still be realistic," Heynen said."l think we can split with any team in the conference, but we had three wins last season, so if we can double or triple that and achieve those goals that would be awesome:' The team remains very young, with only one senior member this year. However, many of the returning players have starting experience. This season, Heynen is looking to shuffle the team around a little. "We don't have a lot of newcomersl Right now we are working at competing for a position so we can have our strongest player at each position. We are also shuffling a few things around from last year as well, but it's good for the girls to see the talent we have this year and be able to put the people where we think they should play" said Heynen. Nicole Gritters is the team's sole returning senior. She returns this season as the team's starting catcher. Last sea- son Gritters led the team in hits with 22 and RBIs with 16. with a batting average of.338. Other notable returning members include junior Kirsti Kooiker, who had 15 hits and 10 runs last season, and freshman Kora Lee Heynen, who had 16 hits and 9 runs batted in just 19 games. Heynen also looks to see added duties at pitcher this season after 32 innings pitched in 2014 and the loss of last year's pitching ace Kayla Kooima. Right now, the team is focused on improving its consis- tency with pitching and hitting. Kassandra Heynen commented on the offense,"We are going to work hard on our hitting. I was disappointed last season on how we struggled to hit the ball hard and string hits together. We would get one or two hits, but we could never develop a lead or score runs. So we want to be more consistent in our hitting and score some runs:' The Trinity Christian 2015 softball team front from left: Emily Uittenbogaard, Faith Poppema, Rachelle Kooiker, Anna Poppema. Middle: Sydney Brummel, Ashley Pollema, Kirsti Kooiker, Nicole Gritters, Lindsay Kooima. Back: Kalie Vink, Shania Kooiker, Shayra DeRoon, Ashley Van Engen and Koralee Heynen. Photo/Nathan Broek. 179815 D()RDT (C) L L EC; E 498 Fourth Ave NE, Sioux Center, IA 51250-1606 (712) 722-6011 Fax: (712) 722-1198 www.dordt.edu admissions@dordt.edu 800-343-6738 eqg Memorial ealth Center Avera 1202 21st Ave Rock Valley, IA 51247 (712) 476-8000 2"30118 P'A'Y7 H//./ Hull 439-2406 145765 1-SIOUX COUNTY , INDEX-I00ff)RFER I 1013 First St. ' Hull, IA I 712-43001075 COMMUNICATIONS Lookin Ahead 339 I st Ave. NE Sioux Center, IA 800-741-8351 www.mypremieronline.com Vehicle Repairs & Service Tires Golf Cart Sales Tank Wagon Sales 702 Main Street Hull, Iowa 51239 712-439-1020 152846 3115 32Dth -treet Hull, Iowa 712-439-2081 www.autornatedwaJtegystems.com 24401C De Koster i & De Koster Attorneys at Law 1102 Main Street P.O. Box 801 Hull, Iowa 51239-0801 11 Phone: 712-439-2511