By Michael S. Hoey

Correspondent

The Delavan-Darien Comet baseball program will begin its season on Thursday against Beloit Memorial at Beloit’s Pohlman Field, home of the Beloit Snappers. Paul Yanko returns as the varsity coach after stepping back to coach the JV team for three years as Mike Grover took over the program.

“He is a good baseball guy and he did a good job with the program,” Yanko said of Grover. “I thank him for allowing me to continue to coach the JV team as part of his staff.”

Grover resigned after last season and Yanko was the obvious choice to replace him as Yanko coached the varsity team for eight years before Grover took over and has coached in the program for 23 years at various levels. Yanko teaches physical education at Phoenix Middle School.

The Comets are coming off a 4-15 season (1-13 Southern Lakes Conference) and lost their best player, Noal Brouwer, to graduation.

“Noal will be a big loss,” Yanko said. “He was not only outstanding as a pitcher and hitter, but also as a leader.”

Yanko said losing quality players to graduation happens every year and this year’s upperclassmen need to step up and fill those shoes. He 25 kids came out for baseball this year with a high number of freshmen, so the future looks good if that trend continues.

He said one of the strengths of the varsity team is the return of the core of last year’s team. Despite the loss of Brouwer, the team – which was quite young last year – has another year of varsity experience to draw from.

“Hopefully the experience they gained last year will benefit the team this year,” he said.

After facing Beloit Memorial on Thursday, the Comets will open the 2019 SLC season at Burlington on April 2 and then host the Demons on April 4, weather and field conditions permitting.

The rest of the Comet non-conference schedule includes Clinton, Big Foot, Whitewater, and Williams Bay. The Comets will also play in the Edgerton Invitational on May 11.

Read more of what Yanko had to say in the March 28 Delavan Enterprise.

 

 
 

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