The Archbold baseball program has sustained a winning tradition over the last several years and they will look for that to continue in 2021.
“This group is hungry to show they can continue the tradition of Archbold Baseball,” said head coach Dick Selgo. “A strong non-league schedule including Defiance, Perrysburg, Anthony Wayne, Bowling Green, and Toledo Central Catholic — plus many teams in our immediate area and league — will be quite challenging.”
The main hurdle will not only be having to replace those seniors from 2020, but it will also be the first time they take the field without many key contributors from the 2019 team — with not having a season a year ago.
“A very young team overall that is unproven,” said Selgo on the Blue Streaks’ main weakness.
Gone from the 2019 team are Rigo Ramos (NWOAL Player of the Year, first team All-Ohio), Corey Erbskorn (first team All-NWOAL, second team All-Ohio), Holden Galvan (first team All-NWOAL, second team All-Ohio), Jeron Williams (first team All-NWOAL), Aiden Warncke (second team All-NWOAL), Travis Ziegler (honorable mention All-NWOAL), Mitch Grosjean (honorable mention All-NWOAL), Kreighton Sims, TJ Rice and Clay Nafziger.
That team set the school record for most wins in a season with 26. They were also part of a four-year period that saw the program capture consecutive district championships.
Archbold has averaged 20 wins a year over the last seven seasons.
A notable loss from 2020 is centerfielder Kade Kern. He was the Ohio Gatorade Player of the Year and is currently a starting outfielder at Ohio State.
They will also need to replace Noah Garcia (3B/P), Ethan Hagans (P), Noah Hogrefe (OF), Chase Kohler (OF), Dawson Liechty (OF), Drake Mohring (1B), and Adam Walker (OF).
The Streaks primary returnee for the upcoming season is pitcher and third baseman DJ Newman. Promising newcomers are Caleb Hogrefe (C), Brandon Taylor (INF/P), Kobe Kennedy (INF/), Jaybe Birkle (P/INF), and Zane Behnfeldt (3B/P).
“A key returning pitcher, and a sincere desire to get better as a team,” Selgo said of his team’s strengths.
The Blue Streak coach predicts Wauseon to finish atop the Northwest Ohio Athletic League this season. Next he has Bryan, then Evergreen taking third, his Archbold team fourth, Patrick Henry fifth, Swanton sixth, Liberty Center seventh and Delta eighth.
“It is very difficult to win a strong league, especially when you only play a single-round of seven league games,” said Selgo of the NWOAL race. “Wauseon will be strong, especially when they have one of the top pitchers in Ohio on the mound, Connar Penrod. Bryan is always one of the better teams in the NWOAL.”
Archbold opens the season on Saturday where they host Ottawa-Glandorf in a doubleheader. First game is set for noon.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.