Bunnies and Vikings merge baseball teams


On Mar. 22 the Omaha North and Omaha Benson baseball team work together at practice. While the outfielders worked on bunting, the infielders worked on fielding the bunts and trying to get the runners out. Photo by Jessica Stacy

Richard Marcoux, Sports Writer

The Omaha North High School and Omaha Benson High School baseball teams will now be joined together under one team, as of mid-February, and the approval of the NSAA. Resulting in the only two high schools to merge baseball teams in the OPS school district.

In 2018, the Omaha Benson Bunnies baseball program only had 12 players. Many were also less experienced baseball players compared to other schools. With the lack of players, Benson’s baseball program only had a varsity team, which caused these inexperienced players to be matched up against older and more experienced varsity teams.

The idea of a combined team seemed like a very logical option to both the baseball programs at North and Benson. North’s Coach Eric Janecek explained the process as going from the coaches, to the athletic directors, to the principals talking and approving the idea. Paperwork had to be submitted to the NSAA and was approved in mid February.

This approval from the NSAA has no end date, resulting in the two schools’ baseball teams to continue to play after this season, and for many to come after this year. This year, all of the Benson coaching staff is coming over to North to assist with the baseball team, allowing a larger coaching staff to help bring the program up off of the ground.

“There is a lot of potential with the merger of these two teams,” said Janecek.

There is expected to be 20-25 Benson players, as a result of their growing program. These student athletes will play at all three levels. This not only will grow the baseball program at Omaha North High School but will allow the players to develop and not have to just play at the varsity level right off the bat.

This new type of team that has been assembled has brought about a new culture to the Omaha North High School baseball team.

“The goal is to get all the kids playing at the right level. This will allow the team to be more competitive and really allow each player to develop,” said Janecek.

For Omaha North’s baseball team, the merger between North and Benson brings many opportunities.