Mankato East relying on youth in 2021

Mankato East relying on youth in 2021

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The spring athletics season is finally here after being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mankato East baseball team, like many others, is happy to be back out on the field.

”It’s going to be great. It’s fun to be back with the guys and be on the field,” senior Benjamin Snaza said. “I think missing that year has everyone ready to get going.”

Many teams this spring don’t know what to expect after taking a full year off from playing together. The same goes for a Cougars squad that’s relying on young players to step up.

”We have almost no varsity experience coming back. Everything is up in the air. Guys have to earn their spot. We don’t know what to expect. A lot of these guys have played with me in the past, played a lot of baseball, but they don’t have the varsity experience,” head coach Micah Degner explained.

Some players managed to play legion ball or town ball last summer, but there will be some growing pains early on as players get into the swing of things.

”It’ll be tough early figuring things out. Guys will have to step up and get their opportunities for sure. Our goal is to peak at the end of the season, not live and die with every win or loss early. Our goal is that section championship like it is every year,” Degner added.

”Our expectations are pretty high for us. We’re a pretty solid group. I know last year we had a little bit of summer ball, we got to play together. That was interesting, and we looked solid, so my hopes are pretty high,” senior Jared Grams said.

The Cougars’ first test of the season comes Saturday against Faribault.

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