At the end of last season, the Cardinals of Collinsville were 35-8 and one game away from playing for a state championship. The reality of graduation was coming, but head coach Tony Reeder was turning his attention to 2023.
“In 2022 we graduated 10 seniors. Some of them had been two or three year starters for our program. In 2023 we return seven guys that have varsity experience. We are hoping that those guys step up and lead some of our more inexperienced guys,” coach Reeder said. “While we might not have a lot of returning innings, this might be our most athletic team we have had in a while. Our depth on the mound should keep up competitive early in the season while our young guys get used to competing at the varsity level on a daily basis. We are excited to be in the “underdog” role this year and to have the chance to surprise some people.”
One player many will not consider an underdog is Cyrus Kornegay. A returning starter for the Cardinals, Kornegay has excellent experience on the mound and at the plate.
“Cyrus will be relied on heavily to help lead this young bunch through the 2023 season,” said coach Reeder.
Seth Wright is another returning starter to the lineup. Wright will be an important piece in the pitching rotation and will likely be the No. 1 guy this season.
Freshman Cal Schlomann is young, but he brings a good arm and a bright future to the team. Coach Reeder expects the underclassman to pitch his share of innings.
The guy keeping all of these pitchers in check is starting catcher Colton Hollenbeck.
“Colton will be a big piece for us this year. He is not only our starting catcher, but he will throw some big innings for us, and he has a chance to hit in the middle of our order. We will rely on Colton to help develop this young pitching staff throughout the season,” said coach Reeder.
Other players to watch include Nate Fisher, Kaden Rush, Carson Duncan, Diego Rivera, Owen Eubanks, Bentley Brown, Parker Collins, Jonathan Badgwell, Corbin Gorrell, Tanner Bennett, Preston Willis, JJ Burwell, Brendan Rollston, Isaac Lawhead, and Madaxon Aunko.