BaseballStill not cricket

As the waters were rising very quickly, Ames High baseball players rushed to clear everything out of the sheds and get them to higher ground. It was Wednesday, April 25, 2007, and Ray Smalling Field at Brookside Park was ready to flood. One day later, the baseball field was completely underwater, along with the entire park. The first official day of practice was only four days away and the baseball team could only canoe around the field if they wanted to practice. So, after a few hours of negotiating with Iowa State University, the Ames High baseball team was able to move practices to Cap Tim field and start their season on time. “It was tough moving our practices to Cap Tim,” senior Ben Dobbs said. “But we would like to thank Iowa State for letting us use their field. In the long run it will benefit us a lot.” It was a big relief for the players to be able to practice on schedule. The Ames High team is looking to surprise many people this year. The expectations for this year’s team are not high, given the loss of many key players from the team a year ago. They lost Nathan Greving, a division-1 recruit, and T.J. Lawles,s who signed with Indian Hills Community College. They also lost Daniel Schuldies, Brian Weiss, Danny Blum and Chris Voss. But for those of you who doubt the ability of the players of 2007, they are ready to make it rain on you. The Lil’ Cyclones return two key starters from a year ago, senior third basemen Steven Fennelly and senior catcher Tony Dempsey. For all my adoring readers, you already know the abilities of Fennelly from the previous issue, but you do not know about the great Tony Dempsey. Dempsey plays the most grueling position in baseball, yet he plays great every time. He is also a great hitter, coming through in the clutch whenever the team needs him. Historically, catchers have not been the best of hitters due to the fact that they are constantly getting hit with foul tips behind the plate. But Dempsey contradicts the fact with his hard work throughout the season. This year’s baseball team is not going to let the floods stop them from having a successful season. The team contains a lot of veteran leadership with 10 seniors, but many of them do not have much varsity experience. Besides Dempsey and Fennelly, only seniors Danny Haugo, Jeff Houk and Grant Simpson have started at the varsity level. Only two other players in the program have played varsity, juniors Zeke Musselman and Ben Cotton. “Even though we don’t have much experience, we have a lot of heart and we will make it rain and end our drought,” sophomore Andy Weiss said. “We will make it to State.” The big night when the baseball team kicks off its season is May 22 at Ray Smalling Field in Ames against Newton. The JV game begins at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity game begins sometime around 7:30 p.m. It is going to be a night of giant proportions, hopefully starting the run toward a state tournament bid for our Ames High Lil’ Cyclones. “We are really looking forward to playing Valley this year,” senior Paul Zunkel said. “They have won four consecutive state championships and I think we have a chance to end their run.” The floodwaters are quickly receding and the baseball team is ready to break out the aluminum bats and hit some home runs. For everyone who wants to witness the baseball team make it rain figuratively, I suggest you check out some games this summer and be a part of an American pastime.