After being senior-dominated each of the past two seasons, the Northeast baseball team is turning to its youngsters this summer.
Of the 10 Rebels who have taken part in each of the team’s first 10 games, six are sophomores, freshmen, or eighth-graders.
That is a bit of a departure for the Rebels, who had seven seniors play in at least 20 games during the 2017 season and six seniors accomplish the same feat last summer.
Even the veterans the Rebels do have, are facing new experiences.
Senior Ty Cain, for example, has moved from the outfield to behind the plate to be Northeast’s catcher.
Cain played in 27 games during his junior campaign and socked three doubles, while driving in eight runs. He has already thrown out one potential base stealer in the Rebels’ first 10 games.
Fellow senior Anthony Adney has seen action at third base and on the mound, while also acting as the team’s designated hitter – he’s tied for second on the team with five RBIs and has coaxed eight walks.
Junior Riley Wolfe, meanwhile, is back in the Rebels’ infield, but has flipped from second base to shortstop.
Wolfe has already surpassed his output at the plate from last season and leads the team in hits, while batting just under .300.
Sophomore Sam Moraetes is back at first base. He has drivenin five runs and scored five more in the early season and can also take to the mound after pitching more than 25 innings there last season (he is currently second on the team with 10 strikeouts).
Freshman Kael Parson has joined Adney at third base, while eighth-grader Jimmy Weispfenning has joined Wolfe in the middle of the infield at second base.
The Rebels’ outfield is very young, but also boasts experience.
Freshman Caleb Gruhn is in left field after playing in 15 games as an eighth-grader. The Rebel is batting .310 in Northeast’s first 10 games and has scored five times.
Fellow freshman Cade Hughes is back in center field after he played in 24 games last season.
Hughes had 15 hits and scored 13 runs in his eighth-grade campaign, and is well on his way to surpassing both totals.
The Rebels will also turn to the freshman on the mound after Hughes won two games and saved two others last season, while posting a 2.47 ERA.
Hughes has already picked up a win this summer as well, while striking out nine batters.
Sophomore Alijah Dopson is the true varsity newcomer to the outfield, but has been an early fixture in right field.
Junior Dakota Stevenson has seen action in both the infield and outfield, depending on which of his teammates is pitching.
Stevenson, himself, spent more time on the mound last summer than any other Rebel and won a pair of games, while striking out 23 hitters.
He leads Northeast again in innings pitched and has already fanned 13 batters. At the plate, Stevenson leads the team in both RBIs and runs scored and has stolen 10 bases.
Sophomore Maclane Murrell and freshman Dane Johnson can also see time in the outfield. The former scored a run in the Rebels’ opener, while the latter had a pair of hits in Northeast’s most recent game with Tipton.
Cascade is the lone ranked team in the River Valley North – the Cougars are seventh in 2A – and are the favorites to win the division.
Camanche already has six wins within the division, but did fall to Cascade twice, while Northeast and conference newcomer, Anamosa, both have three division victories.