Spring can’t be too far off with baseball in full swing here in South Texas.
We have several high school teams who are serious contenders for a state title.
And that includes Calallen, who was a preseason No. 11 in Class 5A.
So far, the Wildcats have certainly played like it. They have jumped out of the gate with a 10-1 start that includes two tournament championships.
Six starters are back from a team that made it to the third round of the state playoffs last season. Which they will tell you was a disappointing finish.
Their ace pitcher Hambleton Oliver is back before heading to Baylor next year. He’s as solid as it gets.
So this team certainly has the makings of something special.
“We are really bounding as a team,” Oliver said. “We are working a lot harder since we were not at all satisfied with what happened last year. We are determined to do better than that and we are going to.”
Last year’s finish provided Calallen with much impetus for 2019.
“The work ethic and I feel this team has a lot of heart and drive,” infielder Matt Castro said. “We definitely have a target on our back. Everyone wants to beat Calallen and we know that and we won’t take anyone lightly.”
Calallen coach Steve Chapman said the team needs some more pitching balance to fulfill his goals.
“We need to find some more key pitchers to back up Hambleton,” Chapman said. “And that’s our biggest question mark right now. I feel like we have a lot of team speed and we can do a lot of good things on the diamond. We are solid at just about every position but we need to have some kids step up and perform for us on the mound.”
The Wildcats head to San Antonio tomorrow for another tournament before district play begins.