JACKSON — Jackson was undergoing a transformation with new head coach Josh McGraw coming back to take over the program.
Although the Ironmen never got the chance to play a game, there were some things they were able to accomplish in the short time to get the ball rolling.
“It hurt to lose that senior, not just because they didn’t get to play, but because they were great kids,” McGraw said. “Even in the short amount of time I had them, they displayed great practice habits that these guys now have taken and honed in on.”
It’s the little details like that which has Jackson believing this is finally the year it breaks through and makes a name for itself.
Its also fortunate to return a young of juniors and seniors such as Boston Kuhn, Ty Broermann, Bryson Brown, Drew Bragg, Holden Blankenship and Logan Camp who have played at the varsity level before.
Those guys also make up a good bit of the infield alongside guys like Nate Woodard, Caeleb McGraw and Isaac Kuhn, who additionally have a good amount of varsity experience.
“All of those guys are also pitchers, so we’re lucky to have that flexibility as well with our team,” Josh McGraw said. “We have 8-9 guys who we could put on the mound and we wouldn’t skip a beat. They’re all infields who are comfortable at any position which gives us a lot of freedom to mix things up but also still give us a solid infield.”
In the outfield, guys like Nate McManaway, Haydn Brown, Bryson Brown, Cade Wolford, Landon Camp, and James Bixler will all see action.
“It’s a very deep outfield in terms of our depth, but all guys possess some speed and cover a lot of of ground,” Josh McGraw said. “The biggest thing for us keep guys as fresh as possible at all positions.”
Over the past two spring seasons, Jackson has won a grand total of five conference games.
However, with a reloaded roster filled with experienced juniors and seniors, alongside a wide open FAC, it believes this is the year to snatch the crown.
“This is the deepest team I’ve ever had, and truthfully it’s not even close,” Josh McGraw said. “We’re lucky to have 2-3 guys that we can play at any position and not have too much of a drop off.
“Ultimately, the goal is the win the conference and get back to district play at Ohio University. The D-II district is incredibly tough, but we have just as good of a chance as anybody to get there and win. I think it comes down to how we handle ourselves in moments of adversity. We have the talent and as long as we continue building chemistry, we like our chances.”