The innings and outs of North baseball

Inaya Henley, Sports and Features writer

As the school year slowly ends, spring sports start to swing around the corner. Juniors, Jackson Flere, Sepp Nelsen, Reggie York and sophomore Jacob Markham are all on the baseball team at North.  

Flere is a shortstop on the team and has been playing baseball for nine years. His main job as a shortstop is to field the ball and throw it to first base. Flere is one of the team captains and he, and his teammates, find him to be an exceptional player.  

“I’ve been playing varsity since I was a freshman,” Flere said.  

He hopes that the team wins more than eight games, and his personal goal for this season is to control his anger and try not to strike out. Flere says that when the referees make a bad call you just must talk to them a little bit, but he tends to do it angrily.  

“My strength is being fast, and then one thing I want to improve on is not striking out as much,” Flere said.

Jackson Flere prepares himself to make a play in the infield.

York is a pitcher on the North baseball team. He has been playing baseball for 11 years and he plans to continue playing. He began to play baseball at an early age and enjoyed it instantly.  

“[I’m] really excited, just going to show up give 110 percent and give my all for the team,” York said.  

His personal goal for this upcoming season is to have fun while playing, and he hopes to improve his speed. He feels that his personal strength in baseball is locating the ball as a pitcher.

Reggie York winds up for the pitch. He hopes to strike the batter out.

 Markham is on the varsity team, and his position is to play on third and first base catching the ball. He has been playing baseball since he was young, and he wants to improve on fielding.  

Fielding the ball is when the person on the base must catch it in their glove when it comes to them.  

Two seniors that are on the team are Anthony Wonder, and Riley Christensen.  

Christensen’s team position is being a catcher, he catches all the pitches thrown by their team’s pitchers. He also keeps runners from stealing bases.  

Christensen began playing baseball with his family as a child and has since continued to play. He has been playing baseball for eight and a half years, and he is on the varsity team.  

Christensen hopes to have a better season than last year, and he would like to personally improve on hitting the ball. 

Wonder’s position on the team is an outfielder, but he plays center. His position “protects the grassland,” as he said, and he tries to get any ball that is hit outside of the infield. 

Wonder’s friends introduced baseball to him, and since then it just stuck with him. He has been playing for 12 years.  

“All my friends played baseball, they got me into it, so I just kept with it,” Wonder said.  

He is excited for the new season, and feels “back in his element,” being back on the field. Wonder also feels like the team has a good chance this year of winning state. 

“I hope that we can make it all the way, or see how far we can get I guess, it’s our last chance,” Wonder said. 

Both of Wonder and Christensen’s favorite parts about playing baseball are making memories, and playing with their “brothers,” or teammates. 

All the young men have previously played on the school’s baseball team, and each enjoys the sport. This year the baseball team has approximately five coaches. The team’s varsity head coach and the only other coach who teaches at North is Eric Janacek, a gym teacher.  

Janacek has been teaching at North for nine years, and he has been coaching for ten years. He is also the head softball coach. Janacek has been around baseball since he was young, and he loves it.  

This season he hopes to work on handling his temper a little better as a coach. He also hopes to work on doing a better job of delegating, and as he said, “letting the kids and the team police themselves,” instead of always stepping in. Janacek enjoys building bonds with the players and helping them improve on their skills. 

“It’s not about the wins and losses, it’s about building the relationships with players for after they graduate, and them still coming back and keeping in touch,” Janacek said.

Vikings baseball has a meeting on the mound. The coach was talking to the pitcher.