Leadership; The Panthers baseball team has five returning seniors: Nick Castonon, Dan Dykens, Austin Sanders, Austin Steinfort, and Ryan Verhelst; so there is definitely a sense of leadership on the field.
Speed; The Panthers’ speed on the base paths is outstanding. The athleticism will help them bring runs across the plate.
Power behind the plate; The Panthers have three catchers who will be in rotation: Matt Donker, Christian Rodino, and Nick Govert. These catchers will also be a threat offensively.
Pitching; West Ottawa’s success has always been determined by the quality of pitching. This year ace for the Panthers is Ben Schaap. Along with the help of Nick Trameri, Eddy Neumann and Austin Steinfort the pitching staff is ready to go.
Youth; The Panthers this year have three underclassmen (Govert, Miller, Rodino) on the team. However, the talents these players possess make up for their age.
Players to Watch:
Nick Trameri: Going into his third varsity season, the Jr. first baseman, left handed pitcher and switch hitter is a threat on both offense and defense. Ending last season with a .345 batting average, look for Trameri to have another outstanding season.
Ben Schaap: The ace pitcher for the Panthers, ending last year’s season with a 3.3 earned run average. Schaap pitched a one hitter against Jenision. Expect another great defensive year out of Schaap.
Matt Donker: Heading into his second season as a varsity baseball player, the DH/catcher ended last season with a .260 batting average. Look for Donker to put up tremendous offensive numbers.
Nick Govert: Going into his first varsity season the catcher/third baseman should have no problem adjusting to the varsity level, Look for Govert to have a good first season.