Now in his 20th season with Mountlake Terrace Hawks baseball, the last 18 years as head coach, Andrew Watters has developed patterns in the program that he believes pays off.
“All I can say is that our program has been passing down traditions that help us maintain a consistency with what we do every day,” Watters said. “We have high expectations and I think it shows in the success we’ve had in the last 20 years.”
Watters hopes more success will come this year as the Hawks open up their 2017 season on Tuesday, March 14, with a home game against the Mariner Marauders at Mountlake Terrace High School. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.
After a disappointing 2016 season where the team finished with a record of 7-13, the Hawks expectations this year will weigh heavily on the performances and leadership of three seniors: Jared Maxfield, Carson Dallas and Adam Lorraine.
“Jared, Carson and Adam have all taken on leadership roles with the team and will be huge parts of our success,” Watters said.
On a team that managed only 4.2 runs per game last year, Maxfield shined at the plate with a batting average of .400. The right-hander will bat third in the line-up this year and be the team’s number-one pitcher.
Dallas, a left-hander, will get plenty of action on the mound also in addition to playing outfield and batting behind Maxfield in the lineup.
Lorraine will handle centerfield duties and be counted on to jumpstart the Terrace offense by batting leadoff.
Watters has high hopes for a number of returning juniors on the team this year, including Kendall Yackley who moves into the shortstop position for the 2017 season.
“He is also taking on a leadership role in our infield and is posed to have a great year,” Watters said of Yackley.
Matthew Johnson will be a part of the Hawk pitching rotation and play at third base while fellow junior Dan Bingaman will handle the catching duties for Terrace.
“Max Coleman is another returning player who is working in a super-utility role and I believe will have a great year,” Watters added.
The Hawks will be trying to keep up in what could shape up to be another very tough Wesco League 3A South Conference this year as Lynnwood will be aiming for their third straight trip to the WIAA 3A State Baseball Tournament in May. The Royals return a number of strong pitchers from last year’s state tourney team and are the favorites to take the conference title.
After a 14-9 season last year, Edmonds-Woodway will be looking to challenge the Royals for the 3A South Conference top spot. Perennial contender Shorewood is always a threat to be among the leader leaders.
MTHS Hawks 2017 Baseball
Coach: Andrew Watters (18th year)
2016 record: 7-13 overall
First 2017 game: versus Mariner, Tuesday, March 14, 4 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace High School
Key players: Jared Maxfield, pitcher/first base; Carson Dallas, pitcher/first base/outfield; Adam Lorraine, outfield; Kendall Yackley, shortstop; Matthew Johnson, pitcher/third base; Dan Bingaman, catcher
2017 schedule: click http://www.wescoathletics.com/index.php?pid=0.3.40.6.321
–By Doug Petrowski