GRAND HAVEN, Mich -- The Grand Haven High School baseball team is hoping some of the good vibes form last season's run to the Division 1 state semifinals, when the Buccaneers won the school's first regional championship in baseball.
"Of course, we are hoping it carries over," 10th year head coach Mike Hansen said. "We hope that the young players that we brought up at the end of the year to experience some of that [...] understand the leadership that it takes to have a run like that."
The Bucs lost several contributors from last season's team, but a few guys are returning who are expected to help carry the load, like seniors Jarrett Prins and Ryan Mattson and sophmore Owen Krizan.
"Last year we didn't expect to be that great. I guess going into it we didn't have a ton of star players," Mattson said. "I think if we just play together [...] you don't have to be the greatest. We were beating teams that had several guys going D1, and it was mainly because we just played together."
The team spent spring break in Tennessee, where they played a lot of baseball but also participated in a lot of team activities off the field, such as mud wrestling.
Prins notes the value of those experiences for younger players. "Bringing the young guys up and just having them understand what it's like to be on the varsity team and having fun down there, you get down there and play inter squad, it's a fun game, and the times when you are not playing games, it's fun to just hang out with the guys as well."
Grand Haven opened the season Tuesday by dropping a doubleheader to OK Red foe Grandville. The same two teams will play at Grand Haven on Thursday.