Sault Ste. Marie Adjusts to Changes
SAULT STE. MARIE – The Sault Ste. Marie baseball team had a successful run last year, winning their second straight district title and advancing to the regional semis in Division 2.
Their success earned the Blue Devils a spot in the preseason state rankings, coming in at No. 13, but they had to go through a ton of changes this year.
Sault Ste. Marie is under a new head coach, as Kris Bontrager took over the program after spending the last two years as the Blue Devils’ varsity assistant coach. He was also the JV assistant coach for two previous years as well.
On top of new leadership, the Blue Devils graduated nine seniors, including seven starters.
“This year, we’re pretty inexperienced. But everybody works hard, so hopefully that will pay off in the end,” Sault Ste. Mare senior Hunter Coneset said. “They’re eager to play. They want it. We just gotta put the pieces of the puzzle together. Put some wins together in a row and keep it rolling.”
The Blue Devils got their first taste of action against Petoskey, losing both games to start the year.
“It was a lot of the kids first time playing varsity baseball, and it showed. There were some nerves and there were some simple mistakes made,” Bontrager said. “But the good thing about the mistakes is they’re very correctable mistakes. As we get some experience, I think you’ll see them really develop.”
Sault Ste. Marie is scheduled to play against the Soo Night Hawks on Tuesday at home before heading to Alpena on Thursday.