Jamboree Softball Outing Scheduled For Thursday, Blue Devils Begin Season With Jam Packed Home Schedule

Jamboree Softball Outing Scheduled For Thursday, Blue Devils Begin Season With Jam Packed Home Schedule
Courtesy of Wayne Softball.

WAYNE – After competing in Class B the past three seasons, the Wayne High softball team is back in Class C and gearing up for their 2022 campaign.

Rob Sweetland will be entering his 21st season guiding Wayne High softball.

Majority of the incoming Blue Devil softball players participated in the Wayne Dirt Devil softball program while a couple competed in Norfolk and were able to get a lot of games and experience in. Coach Sweetland said that experience is key over the summer getting into varsity softball.

“I do like our first couple of practices,” said Sweetland. “I think they’ve been energetic, competitive, are asking questions and trying to figure things out. I always tell the younger girls the more positions you can play, the better your chances of playing are.”

Coach Sweetland will be joined by Kiley Koch and Lauren Gilliland leading a group of roughly 17.

The Blue Devils will be without three-year starter and one of their leading hitters on the diamond of senior Brooklyn Kruse who suffered a foot injury and is not looking like she’ll be able to play. Also, fellow senior Hailey Schroeder went down early during summer conditioning and might be sidelined for the season.

Wayne High will open their season with a road jamboree softball outing at Norfolk High on Thursday, August 11 at 5:30 p.m.

Coach Sweetland added it will be a good starting point to see where the team is at.

“That’s kind of what we’re looking for number one is being able to play the next play and be supportive of your teammates,” Sweetland added. “To learn from the experiences that you’re going through from pitch to pitch.”

Wayne High finished last season at 18-9 falling to Grand Island Northwest in the Class B District final.

Four of the first six games along with a home tournament will be played at the Wayne Softball Complex. WHS begins their regular season on Thursday, August 18 at 6:30 p.m. hosting Blair.

Complete schedule.

Head Wayne High softball coach Rob Sweetland was also named a finalist as National Softball Coach of the Year. The Nebraska Coaches Association nominated coach Sweetland in softball for the state of Nebraska. Rob was joined by his wife, Jill Sweetland and traveled to Des Moines, Iowa in late June during the National Banquet.

“So, it was cool sitting there and listening to all these other coaches’ accomplishments,” Sweetland mentioned. “There’s one football coach that had 57 years of head coaching experience. Just some of the win totals and the state championship accomplishments were really amazing.”

Wayne High softball will compete in Class C when it comes to postseason competition which offers several top teams in the state. The Blue Devils are a 17-time state qualifier but haven’t been to state since 2019 and will look to get back in the spotlight this season.