Skyline baseball looking for newcomers to emerge on young team
Apr 09, 2018 11:24AM
● By Josh McFadden
Seniors Ashton Graham. Jack Garver. Dakota Porter. Taylor Larsen. Isaac Storheim look to lead the Skyline baseball team this season. (Photo/Eric Morgan)
It’s never easy for a baseball team to replace eight departed players, but that’s the challenge Eric Morgan and his Skyline Eagles face this season.
The Eagles went 22-8 last season and tied Olympus for second place in Region 6 with a 13-5 record. Skyline lost its opening-round game at the 4A state tournament but went on to win a trio of consolation round games. Skyridge ended the Eagles season, 9-8, on May 23.
Morgan does return five seniors this season but isn’t quite sure what to make of his squad yet.
“Honestly, we come into this season with a lot of uncertainty,” Morgan said. “We will have a lot to replace from last year’s team by losing eight very good seniors. This team will be a little inexperienced, but the talent is there to have success. We will need the upperclassmen to step up and lead, with the combination of the underclassmen to mature early and get experience. If that can happen, would should be very competitive. We have a lot of guys who have very little or no varsity experience, so the preseason is huge.”
Skyline is still trying to settle some positions on the field, but Morgan has solidified some other spots. Senior outfielder Jack Garver started every game last season in left field. He should be a fixture in the outfield for the Eagles. Another outfielder to keep an eye on is senior Taylor Larsen. The centerfielder was a starter last season as well. First baseman Dakota Porter and second baseman Isaac Storheim, both seniors, will also be team leaders and go-to players. At the pitching spot, Morgan has high expectations for senior Ashton Graham.
“With the team being so young, we still have some battles going on with a few positions,” Morgan said. “We need guys who can win the position and run with it. (Larsen) is a very good athlete who will put a lot of pressure on the defense. (Storheim) will play multiple positions this year. (Graham) is going to be our ace this year. He hits his spots and throws three pitches for strikes.”
Though his team is young and largely untested, Morgan is excited about his players’ attitudes and mindset.
“We have five really good seniors who want to win,” he said. “They will battle and compete every game. We have some very good sophomores along with a few freshmen.”
Skyline’s season began March 8 with a 7-1 loss to Clearfield. The Eagles managed just two hits but did get a triple from junior JD Jensen. Skyline was set to compete in the Snow Canyon Classic March 16 and 17. The team will play a full slate of non-region games before jumping into Region 6 action April 10, a three-game series against West.
Though the Eagles face some obstacles in contending for a region title, Morgan is optimistic that his team may sneak up on some teams.
“I am most excited to see this team come together,” he said. “I’m excited to see what seniors step up and become leaders. I’m very excited to see which of our underclassmen can step up and be big for us. No one is giving us a chance; I love the underdog mentality. I’m excited once we get our feet wet, we can shock a lot of people.”
Morgan believes if some freshman, sophomores and juniors contribute, and if his team plays good defense, Skyline has a chance to accomplish its goals and have success.