Manitou Baseball in Full Swing as Tryouts Begin


Zak Talbot, Sports Editor

As the true Colorado winter blows in, Spring sports are now in full swing at Manitou Springs High School (MSHS). As the snow melts off the diamond and the outfield grass becomes green again, the 2019 baseball team takes the field with eager eyes and high hopes for the coming season. With tryouts beginning the 25th of February, all players are ready to hit, run and throw. With three returning seniors and more than a handful of young freshman, this coming season looks to be one that will affect the future success of the program.

Seniors Hunter Zentz, Christian Mack and Stephen Gentzel hope to use their prior years of varsity experience to aid Head Coach Brandon DeMatto in the development of the freshmen who have plenty of room for growth. DeMatto is now in his second year as Manitou’s head coach and he is undoubtedly ready to improve on a forgettable season in 2018.

“We have a pretty young team which leads to a lot of growing pains,” said DeMatto, though he still has loads of optimism for the season. “We’re going to be competitive. We have the opportunity to be on top of the league and potentially take the West.”

The theme of competitiveness is one that will be burnt into the heads of all players this year. As baseball is a very unpredictable sport, it is very easy to shift the momentum of a game. This is what DeMatto and the rest of the coaching staff wish for all players to do: compete so that momentum is always against the opponents, no matter what current score. The senior leaders are also tasked with leading the team to take on these ideas that can lead to a successful season.

“I think [the challenge will] be having a younger team with less experience on the varsity level, but it’ll be fun,” said Zentz about the potential issues that could be presented throughout the season.

Gentzel hopes to use his experience he gained from past years to teach underclassmen. “I’ve changed because I look for the younger guys now and try to help them get better,” said Gentzel. Gentzel’s main goal this year is to leave a mark on Manitou baseball and help to establish a promising future.

With so much work and success ahead of the leaders and coaches of the team this season, it’s hard to focus on the possibility of seniors playing in college. Mack and Zentz are both looking to play at the next level, and both have been to recruiting camps for multiple colleges. Although both have the capabilities of being able to sign in the near future, neither has committed.

With a competitive mindset and a great group of experienced coaches, success is seemingly inevitable for the 2019 baseball team. With hard work both on and off the field as well as the development of younger players, the future looks bright for not only this season but the Manitou baseball program as a whole.