Chiefs finish 1-1 at preseason classic, begin regular season Feb. 21 against Flomaton

Published 2:15 pm Thursday, February 16, 2023

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Northview went 1-1 at the Catholic Preseason Classic in Pensacola, Fla. Feb. 13-14.

The Chiefs defeated West Florida Tech 5-4 on Monday, and fell 4-1 to Tate on Tuesday.

NHS baseball coach Jeremy Greenwell said the bats slowly were slowly coming around in the victory over West Florida, adding he was happy the way the boys competed.

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Greenwell added that against Tate, Josh Landis hit a solo homerun in the bottom of the second inning. And three senior pitchers in Cason Burkett, Tyler Shaw and Jamarkus Jefferson threw well in the game.

The Chiefs will begin their 2023 regular season next Tues., Feb. 21 at home against Flomaton. Junior varsity gets going at 4 p.m. followed by varsity at 6:30 p.m.

Greenwell said his team is returning nine starters from last year on the varsity squad.

“We couldn’t be more excited for this season as a team and community,” Greenwell said. “We fell short the last two years, winning a (1A) District (1) championship, but losing out in the Elite 8 in the FHSAA state playoffs.”

Greenwell said the heart of the team’s lineup, including Landis, Jefferson, Kaden Odom and Rustin Pope, all averaged north of .400 batting.

“And, we had a great team batting average that was above .340 as a team,” he said. “That was the highest in my tenure.”

A new addition in Tyler Shaw, a senior, has proven early during the preseason that he will be a competitor on the mound, Greenwell said.

Greenwell said Aron Chavira has had a good preseason coming back from injury that he suffered during the Chiefs’ run in the FHSAA state football playoffs.

Luke Bridges, Wyatt Scruggs and Trent Knighten return for the Chiefs in the outfield. They started 30-plus games as a unit, and are speedy in the outfield and on the base paths, Greenwell said.

Greenwell said Ethan Collier and Cason Burkett are leaders that complete the team’s starting lineup from last year, adding that both are two of the toughest kids in the program.

“We also have a few guys on the bench, and a few guys that joined our program that are making our lineup very competitive throughout,” he said.

Greenwell said the team has one goal in mind.

“That is making it to the state championship game down in Fort Myers, Fla.,” he said.