After losing nine seniors to graduation from his 2015 squad, Mountlake Terrace Hawks baseball coach Andrew Watters has plenty of holes to fill in this year’s roster. But one position he doesn’t have to think twice about is shortstop, as standout Drew Serres returns for his final year at Terrace.
The Hawks will begin 2016 play on Tuesday, March 15, as they travel north to Kamiak High School in Mukilteo to face the Kamiak Knights at 4 p.m.
Serres is back after leading the Hawks last season with a .460 batting average and a slugging percentage of .603. The senior can hit for average, hit with power, throw, field and run with speed, but it’s his intangibles that Watters speaks most highly about.
“Drew has been a great leader for four years,” Watters said. “He brings energy to our team every day and he has truly become a fantastic player. Everybody, including coaches, feeds off of his enthusiasm.”
“He is so talented,” Watters continued. “It is going to be fun watching his senior year.”
While Serres is expected to have a big year for the Hawks, Watters is looking for others to step up and help the team improve upon their 11-12 record from 2015.
“I believe Adam Lorraine (CF), Alex Hussey (2B), Nolan Takeya (C), Jared Maxfield (1B) and Carson Dallas (RF, 1B) are all going to be huge contributors,” Watters said.
As a sophomore last year, Maxfield flexed his muscles with a .343 batting average and a slugging percentage of .432, and is expected to help Serres drive in runs for the Hawks this season. He will also be called upon to assist with mound duty as Terrace loss all their top pitchers from 2015 to graduation.
Maxfield, Takeya, Dallas, junior Jack Fiorillo and seniors Tom Bennett and Trent Brooks will all be part of the rebuilt Hawk pitching staff this season.
“We have a few other guys, including some sophomores, that are filling in the gaps too,” Watters said. “We have nice depth.”
The Hawks’ under .500 overall record and 9-9 Wesco League mark last season was their weakest in years, but may have been an indication of the improved competition within the league’s 3A/2A South Conference and not necessarily a slip of the Terrace program. Both division champion Shorewood and runner-up Lynnwood qualified for the WIAA 3A State Baseball Tournament last spring, with Shorewood losing in the state championship game 1-0 to Mercer Island.
“Both of those teams (Shorewood and Lynnwood) will be very tough again,” Watters said. “Glacier Peak, Edmonds-Woodway and Meadowdale are always good. I’d expect Shorecrest to be more competitive also. Our league is one of the best in this state every year.”
After beginning the season with non-league dates against Kamiak and Snohomish, Terrace will open Wesco League play against Meadowdale on March 18. To view the entire 2016 Terrace baseball schedule, click here.
–Story and photos by Doug Petrowski