WAYNE – Just a few days into the official NSAA practice season, the defending Class C state softball champions will begin their season with a jamboree contest this week.
All NSAA fall sports began practice on Monday and the Wayne High softball team will be ready for a quick start hosting a jamboree game with Norfolk High Thursday, August 15.
Head coach Rob Sweetland is entering his 18th year as head coach. He said there are quite a bit of new faces where they’ll have to break things down.
“Get a little bit more fundamental-orientated as far as footwork and hitting, the drills and the throwing progressions,” said Sweetland. “It’s kind of slow going the first couple days.”
Joining Rob will be Kylie Koch back as an assistant coach along with Kevin Hill as the pitching coach and Sydney Graver who will be a volunteer assistant.
Most of 17 players on the roaster are underclassmen with two seniors and one junior.
Top returner is Super State pitcher Tori Kniesche along with Kayla Fleming (infield) and Kendall Dorey (outfield/pitcher) but a lot of positions will be up for grab this season.
“Six position players graduated and also six from our line-up,” Sweetland added. “There’s going to be a lot of new faces in the line-up for us and right now it’s just a matter of making practices competitive and high-speed.”
If mother nature moves the jamboree game against Norfolk High Thursday at 5:30 p.m., the game could be played Friday, Monday or next Tuesday.
Also, over the summer coach Sweetland was tabbed the Nebraska Coaches Association (NCA) Softball Coach of The Year. Coach Sweetland said it was a honor.
“It’s something where I think when you have a successful season it gives you a little bit better chance to win the coach of the year,” Sweetland mentioned.
The 2019 season opener for Wayne High, who has moved back up to class to B will be at Blair on Thursday, August 22. WHS is coming off a 35-0 season and winning the Class C state title.