CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It's that time of year.
High school baseball preseason workouts continue all over South Texas. And as always, many area schools have a good chance of making it to state.
Over at Calallen, Hall of Fame coach Steve Chapman has led the Wildcats to three state championships.
His teams are always a serious threat to go deep in the playoffs.
But the Wildcats lost a lot of good players from last year's team.
And the preseason pollsters have noticed. They are not favoring the wildcats at least early in the season.
In fact, for the first time in many years, the Cats are not ranked in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association poll.
That snub provides some inspiration for the Wildcats, according to first baseman/pitcher Parker Tennill.
“We just need to play our game,” Tennell said. “I know we were not initially ranked high but it gives us that underdog mentality.
“I think we are looking good, we lost a lot of pieces but we have a lot of kids coming up and we will be alright. It's Round Rock or bust for us.”
Tennell said his team would love to disprove the pundits.
“Expecatations are pretty high since we have been doubted I guess you could say,” he said. “The excitement level is peaking and everyone is ready to go. To be doubted gives you an urgency to play better and harder.”
Chapman says Calallen might have the kind of talent that would enable them to surprise some of the naysayers.
“We are excited about the season getting started, so we feel like we have a good ballclub coming back,” Chapman said. “We have some young kids who have to step up throughout the year and if they do, we are going to be very successful but if they don’t, we are just going to be another baseball team.”
The Wildcats will open the regular at home on Feb. 24 against Sharyland Pioneer.