Winfield fell in a 6-2 game against St. Dominic on May 14, ending the Warrior’s season.
“We battled, and they were a little bit better than us yesterday,” said coach Jamie Stokes.
The team was fighting fatigue as the season got down in the stretch, with a fair number of back-to-back games testing the Warrior’s endurance.
“Towards the end of the season we had a lot of games in a row, it was nice to have a little time off before districts started,” Stokes said. “We came out and handled business against Warrenton, and we were mentally prepared for St. Dominic – who as you may or may not know we lost to earlier in the season – so we were ready to make the adjustments we needed and I think we gave them a good look, we battled them, and they just came out on top.”
After the game, Stokes said he talked “very little” about the sport of baseball.
“I highlighted the good things we did and the mistakes, but it was mostly thanking the seniors for their dedication and giving out underclassmen the opportunity to say ‘goodbye,’ to tell them ‘thank-you,’” Stokes said.
Seven seniors will be moving on at Winfield’s May 19 graduation ceremony: Ian Pruitt, Kodey Kaimann, Lane Weber, Brandon Hazer, Jacob Nelson, Collin Sutton and Elliot Stetson will all be leaving the team.
“It’s tough, you get to know them and shoot, through the season I spend more time with those guys than I do my own kids,” Stokes said. “It’s like losing your own kids. It’s tough.”
All but one of those seniors was a starter, he added, but the team has planned for the seven losses and coaches are aiming to get a jump on next year’s season.
“It was anticipated, so we’ve been doing some things at the lower levels to try to get those guys ready,” Stokes said. “The luxury of having that C Team where the younger kids can stay down, giving the sophopmores the opportunity to play together, I think it’s going to benefit us in the long run.
“We have a group of juniors that are ready to step in.”
Those juniors are in high spirits, Stokes said, and he’s looking forward to a good off-season with them.
“We’re going to give them the summer off, let them play summer ball and in the fall get back after it, get ready for the next season,” Stokes said.