By Coach Dan Kopriva
The North Tama Redhawks baseball season is just around the corner. The veteran Redhawk team will open up against a future Iowa Star Conference school, Colo-Nesco at J. L. Lister Field in Traer. The varsity opener is set for Monday, May 24 starting at 6:30. There will not be a JV game.
The Redhawks finished second last season in the Iowa Star Conference behind fourth ranked Don Bosco. North Tama, Don Bosco, NEH and GMG are the teams picked to challenge for the 2010 conference title. The Redhawks return eleven letter winners including seven starters from last season. The returning letter winners are: seniors Sean Dengler, Colby Harms, Pete Kopriva, Jeremy Wrage, Dylan Youel. Juniors Brendon Boerm, Tyler Cizek, Cade Isenhower, Marshall Karr, Jon Koob and sophomore Justin Jacobs. North Tama has four all-conference players returning, Boerm (1st team all-state), Cizek, Koob and Kopriva. Key non-letter winners are sophomore Brian Seda and freshman Jacob Wrage. Key losses last season are Alex Herink (1st team all district) and Caleb Edwards (1st team all-state).
The Redhawks strength this season will be experience, speed and pitching depth. Boerm, Cizek and Koob will make up a three man rotation to begin the year. Harms will spot start and be the Redhawks main reliever. Boerm was 4-3 with an ERA of 3.92 and Cizek finished the second half of the 2009 season strong posting a 6-2 record with a 4.29 ERA. Koob dominated batters at the JV level in 2009 and Harms had an ERA of .091 as a closer in six relief appearances. Pitchers Jacobs, Seda and Wrage will help handle the mop up duty. Isenhower, one of the best defensive catchers in the Iowa Star Conference will handle the pitching staff. The pitching staff has worked very hard this spring and has great potential.
Boerm, Cizek and Koob are the Redhawks returning leading hitters from last season. Boerm battled .541 with five homers, while swiping 25 bases. Koob batted .370 and led the team with 34 RBIs. Cizek hit .349 and added four doubles. Wrage hit nine extra base hits and will add some much needed power to the middle of Redhawk line-up. Isenhower had a great second half to the 2009 season to raise his batting average to .275. Outfielders Youel, Kopriva, Jacobs, Jacob Wrage and Boerm are capable of covering the yards as well as causing havoc on the base paths. The Redhawks weakness will be lack of power in the batting line-up. The running Redhawks plan to be a very aggressive team on the bases. North Tama has many base stealing threats and intends to take full advantage. The hit and run will be important in the offense. It will be an exciting team to watch this summer.
The club will play North Butler in Waterloo Bucks Stadium on July 7. North Tama baseball and softball teams added a Memorial Day Tournament that features Colo-Nesco and Montezuma. The squad added a home and away varsity game with future Iowa Star Conference member Colo-Nesco. Come out and support the Redhawks. The boys of summer have baseball fever "Catch it"!